Running for a Very Special cause

The starting line of a marathon can stir up many emotions. But while preparing to hit the pavement at last year’s Nike Melbourne Marathon, Ryan Gormly (36) never expected to see a familiar charity logo so close to his heart.

“I was lining up for the race when I saw a Very Special Kids t-shirt. I couldn’t believe it because my daughter was staying at their children’s hospice that same day.”

Ryan’s five-year-old daughter Annie has a rare life-limiting condition called Aicardi syndrome – Annie cannot eat by herself, she is wheelchair bound and requires round-the-clock support from her loving parents.

That’s why Very Special Kids is an essential lifeline to Ryan and his wife Sarah. As Victoria’s only children’s hospice, the charity helps families like theirs access emotional, clinical and practical support, free of charge.

“Very Special Kids is an amazing organisation. It was great knowing Annie was in a safe place that was equipped with everything she needs. Just gave us so much peace of mind.”

Not only is respite care a much-needed break for parents, it’s also something children look forward to. The dedicated health professionals at Very Special Kids love to create a fun and safe environment, so children like Annie can make independent memories during their stay.

Ryan will be back running in this year’s Nike Melbourne Marathon but this time he will be joining as a Very Special Kids Charity Superstar.

Him and his friend Jack will be joined by more than one hundred runners who have dedicated their run and fundraising to supporting very special kids like Annie. Funds raised will help the organisation provide holistic palliative care to seriously ill children and their families – through life, death, and bereavement.

“It’s overwhelming to see so many people run for a cause that supports families like mine. I’m glad I can give back in this way.”

Superstar Fundraisers receive a guaranteed, free entry into the event, including to the sold-out Half and Full Marathons, while committing to fundraising at least $2000.

Apply to be a Chairty Superstar here or find out about the many other ways you can support this very special charity.

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