News Entry


  • Meet our London Marathon 2018 Runners

  • Published: Wed, 20th December 2017, 10:23:00 AM
  • Tony Crofts

    "My wife and I were sat in the NICU when we heard the news about our son Bobby and I knew we had to do something; be pro-active, be positive. We had to to take something so harrowing, so frightening and so sad, and turn it around into something good. Our son being born so poorly, and being diagnosed with TOF/OA was the worst thing a parent could face, and spending months in the NICU whilst he awaited repair surgery and fought off numerous infections, felt even worse... 

    My wife and I began our fundraising for TOFS when Bobby was about 4 months old and have continued ever since. So, when the opportunity came to participate in the London marathon, I knew we had to grasp it with both hands. My wife is a natural runner and nags me frequently to run and train beside her, but the London Marathon is the ultimate challenge for a 6ft 4inch 18 stone firefighter... who (with those stats) is not a natural runner! This is a challenge that all my firefighter pals would tease me for even attempting, but a challenge that I can and will face because in comparison to what my son went through, 26.2 miles is nothing. It's possible. And I will turn the banter and jibes and mickey taking into sponsorships and awareness for the most amazing charity that has supported me and my family, and will no doubt continue to do so. The best part, when I successfully complete it, which I will, is ... I’ve been promised 26.2 pints in reward and in celebration! Now beer drinking is something I am a natural at!!!" 

    Tony's MyDonate page

  • Philippa Jones

    "Hi. I’m Pippa from Yorkshire, mummy to my 9 year old TOF son Isaac. Isaac was born with VACTERL and has had over 20 operations. Isaac loves sports,  in particularly running. When he was only 4 years old, he ran his first mini Great North Run, raising money for TOFS.  Despite the medical procedures that he has to go through daily, he has always remained very active, and 18 months ago encouraged me to put my trainers on and run!

    The London Marathon is going to be a massive challenge for me, I have never run that far before (and probably won’t ever run that far again!) but it is nothing in comparison to the challenges our TOF children face. 

    TOFS have always been a great support to our family, from the information leaflets that we have been able to hand out at school, to the online community where we can share experiences and gain invaluable information.  

    Somehow I will cross that finish line in April, even if I have to crawl, and I hope to help raise awareness and much needed funds for TOFS."

    Pippa's Mydonate page

  • Neil Stevens

    "Hi, I'm Neil Stevens from Heysham near Lancaster. I am so excited about running the London Marathon for TOFS this year. 

    My inspiration for this run is for Adam Sowerby, my godson. Adam was born last year with TOF. Back then, like many others, I had not heard of the condition, and didn't understand the reality of living with TOF in both childhood and in adulthood.

    The TOFS guys have been a massive support to my very good friends Pete and Suzie Sowerby, supporting and giving advice in such hard times for them. That is why I want to run for TOFS. Thank you TOFS for the support you have given to my friends, and indeed all of the TOFS community. 

    I am also running to help raise awareness for others whom have never heard of the TOFS condition, like myself only a few months ago. 

    Thanks TOFS for the opportunity to run for you."

    Neil's Virgin Money Giving page

  • Darron Strange

    "I am Darron Strange, and I am delighted to be running the London Marathon for TOFS.

    My inspiration for my run is my son Jack, who was born unsuspectingly with TOF and OA on 17th July 2002.  Jack was diagnosed with his condition within 3 hours of birth, and we frantically looked up everything we could on his problem which was when we first came across the TOFS website and their support network.  

    Jack was operated on that evening and after 10 days we were finally allowed to take him home.  After many complications and trips to the hospital over the first years, Jack improved as he got older and other than the long scar under his arm where they operated and has grown with him, (plus the good old Tof cough!) you would not now know he had been through such a poorly childhood.  

    Jack will be 16 in 2018, and with the race being run on my 48th birthday, it seemed the ideal chance to raise awareness of this great charity and also some much needed funds.  

    I am proudly looking forward to running under the TOFS name, but not so much the training!  Thank you for your support."

    Darron's MyDonate page