Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Olympic torch bearer Richard Dean continues to honour his son’s memory through helping Children’s Hospice South West.
AN Olympic torch bearer from Fremington is planning to run two half marathons next month to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West.
Richard Dean, 64, will be taking on the Great West and then Great Midland runs in the space of a week, starting on October 13 in Exeter, then Birmingham on October 20.
As ever, the dedicated fund raiser will be running in memory of his son Kierran, who died more than 11 years ago, aged just six-years-old.
Kierran spent time at Little Bridge House in Fremington, and since then Richard and his wife Julie have been keen to give something back through volunteering and fund raising.
“They look after the children here, but the families as well, for as long as they need it – which is absolutely remarkable,” said Richard.
“Kierran had a primary deficiency more or less from birth – his immune system did not develop. He was in Great Ormond Street for seven months after a bone marrow transplant, but that didn’t work and we brought him back when they said they could do no more for him.
“We didn’t want him to die there, so we brought him home. Now, when I go running along the roads and the trail, he is with me.”
As well as fund raising, he has been running a bereaved fathers’ group at the hospice, while Julie volunteers on the reception.
Richard had hoped to run the London Marathon next year to coincide with what would have been Kierran’s 18th birthday, but unable to get a place, he settled for the two half marathons instead.
The Petroc maintenance carpenter has been running for five years, taking it up shortly after recovering from cancer. Many will remember him from last year when he carried the Olympic flame through Barnstaple on the ‘Barnhenge’ leg.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Richard can go to www.justgiving.com/richard-dean3 or text KJAD96 and the amount to 70070.