I'm rowing 26.2 miles on Sunday for my stillborn daughter Gertrude

Michael has set himself a huge rowing challenge to help raise vital funds through the 2.6 campaign.

Michael's 2.6 challenge

In the early hours of February 11 2019 my wife Charlotte and I found out our daughter's heart had stopped.

Three days later Gertrude was stillborn. It was Valentine's Day. This period and the year since has been very difficult but it has been humbling to have so much support from so many friends and family.

I decided to apply to run in the 2020 London Marathon for Tommy's to try and do something useful.

Tommy's funds research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy health information & services to parents like us.

In the last year, we have received wonderful care from Professor Alex Heazell at the Tommy's Manchester Rainbow Clinic and on 4th March this year our daughter Rose was safely born.

Rose and I have been getting to know one another in lockdown almost ever since.

Taking on a rowing marathon for the 2.6 challenge!

I do a lot of sport but mostly rowing so having had 3 to 4 months of running and with another 3 months due in July-Sept I am now at home and lucky enough to have a garden and a rowing machine and so I have been using that every night.

I have decided to row the full Marathon distance of 26.2miles or 42.2km to mark the London Marathon date starting at 11am.

I think this will take 3 hours. So far, I have done two thirds of the distance in under 2 hours.  The most useful thing this did was remind me I have a rowing seat pad in my car which I will definitely be using!

I originally set a target of £3000 but people have been so generous that I have now set a £4000 goal for Tommy’s across my October London Marathon and the 26.2 challenge. I am confident I can exceed this by some way through my wider network and visibility for my current and previous rowing clubs I am a part of that.

I hope that through my fundraising for the London Marathon, now in October and my rowing marathon on Sunday, I can contribute to another child being born healthily to a set of parents that otherwise might not.

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