Proceeds of the charity ultra-marathon will go to the England-based KEEPTHEBEAT charity, which aims to provide an understanding of congenital heart defects, an overview of the medical processes involved and support parents whose children have cardiac defects.
The four members representing AUS at the ultra-marathon include Dr. Nicholas Ashill, Professor and Head of the Department of Marketing; Dr. Paul Williams, School of Business and Management Associate Dean and Professor of Marketing; Callum Cookson, Manager of the AUS Epicenter, and Lee Mitchell, Director of Wellness.
“We are all very motivated to complete the race in a fast time and to raise as much money as we can in the process,” said Dr. Ashill. “We are also very proud to be representing AUS and we are very grateful to the support they have provided,” he added.
The 100 km run, including a total of 1,400 meters of ascent, will take place over 13–14 hours nonstop. The route, which will take place 1/3 on road and 2/3 off road on footpaths and bridleways, will start in London’s Richmond Upon Thames and end in Brighton.
Close to Home
Mitchell’s daughter, Ivy, who is less than a year old, remains ill in the hospital and has had more than two surgeries. Ivy was born with DiGeorge Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder caused by a chromosome 22 defect, resulting in poor development in several systems of the body.
“Last year my wife found out she was pregnant and we were over the moon,” wrote Mitchell in his fundraising webpage. Near the end of the pregnancy, they received “terrible news,” adds Mitchell, discovering their soon-to-be-born daughter “appeared to have abnormalities.”
“We welcomed the most perfect looking baby into this world August 6, 2012. We, along with the doctors, were amazed at how well she coped and we took her home 12 days later,” he said.
At 12 weeks of age, Ivy caught a cold and has been incubated in the hospital to date.
“Ivy has continued to amaze the doctors with her strength and determination to survive. Her battle is far from over as she faces further heart surgery in the future and other complications from the DiGeorge Syndrome,” he said.
KEEPTHEBEAT helped Mitchell and his family cope in hardship, he said. “My family cannot thank them enough for what they have done and are continuing to do for us.”
Learn more about the ultra-marathon by visiting http://www.london2brightonchallenge.com/
Nour Al-Ali is an English Literature and Mass Communication double major junior at the American University of Sharjah.
For more information about American University of Sharjah, please visit www.aus.edu