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Chester dad to run London Marathon in memory of daughter Emily Ffion

John Sowden will take on the race for fourth time to raise money for Claire House

John Sowden from Chester will run the London Marathon in memory of his daughter Emily, in aid of Claire House Childrens Hospice

A Chester father will take on his fourth London Marathon in memory of his young daughter on Sunday (April 23).

Emily Sowden passed away suddenly in November 2013 from acute viral bronchiolitis, aged 21 months. Her parents Sara and John, of Parkgate Road, have since raised over £20,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice, where Emily rested after she passed away.

Keen runner John will pound the streets of the capital to continue to raise much needed funds for the hospice which provides care and support for seriously and terminally ill children and their families.

His running vest will proudly display Emily’s photo as well as the Claire House logo and Emily Ffion Trust logo, the latter of which is a charity that was set up by John and Sara and Emily’s aunty and uncle Nia and Dave Brammer from Saughall.

L-R: Sister Anne Martyn (COCH), trustees Sara Sowden, John Sowden, Nia Brammer and Dave Brammer and Dr Ravi Jayaram (COCH)(Image: Sallie Ehlen)

John, 38, who is also father to Charlie, eight, and Lucie, two said: “Following the tragic and sudden loss of Emily, Sara and I were offered the use of the beautiful Butterfly Suite at Claire House.

“Having Emily rest there and giving us the opportunity to spend time with her made the whole trauma of losing her a little easier to cope with. It also meant family and friends could come and say their goodbyes.

“Claire House will always be very close to our hearts and to be given the opportunity to raise even more money for them by running the London Marathon is a huge honour.”

John hopes to beat his previous time of three hours and fifty-five minutes as he joins over 55,000 other runners on the 26.2 mile course.

Events fundraiser for Claire House Children’s Hospice Sophie Chilvers said: “John’s story is one that’s touched us all. At Claire House, we’re so humbled to have played a small part in his family’s journey and will be with him every step of the way, cheering him on, on his journey through London.

“The money John, and all our amazing runners in the London Marathon, raises will make sure we can reach every children and family that needs us and provide hope and comfort in the most difficult of times.”

If you'd like to support John you can donate at justgiving.com/fundraising/runforangel

Ballots for the 2018 London Marathon open on Monday, April 24. If you would like to be considered to run for Claire House Children’s Hospice, email events@clairehouse.org.uk.

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