The family of a teenage boy from Colchester will take on a
challenging run and assault course to raise money for Havens Hospices which cared
Jim Thumwood, 54, has put
together a team made up of colleagues from the Army
Reserve Centre in Colchester to take on the Havens Hardcore on Saturday
29th October at Castle Park to raise money for Little Havens Hospice in memory of his son,
Jack. The event is the first the charity has held in Colchester and will
see participants taking on a 5k run with a series of obstacles along the way.
Jim, a Squadron Quartermaster
Sergeant at the Army Reserve Centre has enlisted colleagues to take on the challenge
and raise money for Little Havens in Essex which
cared for his son, Jack, in the two years before he died at home aged 14. Jack
was two years old when tests
showed that he
had a brain tumour, although it was benign he needed surgery to remove it.
During his recovery, Jack began developing other symptoms
which led to him being diagnosed with another tumour on his adrenal gland which
had grown up through the main artery into his heart. Jack needed more surgery
and chemotherapy. Following successful treatment, Jack was clear of cancer for
six years. Devastatingly when he was nearly ten, doctors found two more malignant tumours on his brain.
Jack was having treatment when the
family were referred to Little Havens for respite.
“The minute you turn up
at Little Havens to look around everyone is so friendly. We left the decision
to Jack really and he said he’d love to go there. The hospice played a massive
part in Jack’s life, and ours. You just felt Jack was in good hands there. We
remained relatively well until two more tumours returned and further treatment
didn’t work for him. He spent the last three months of his life being cared for
at home, where he died aged 14 – he was then taken to the hospice where he
stayed for a week in the Woodland Suite, a special bereavement bedroom.
“The day Jack died was a Sunday morning, at home.
We had our time with him and the next time we saw him he was laid out in the
bed at Little Havens in the Woodland Suite. He had his Manchester United
Blanket over him, his clothes on and music playing.
The day after I was sat having dinner, I’d had about two bites and it
just hit me. I had to get up from the table and sit with him. It broke my
heart. The thought of Jack being in a mortuary drawer in hospital? No, no way. At Little Havens, we
could still sit and talk to him. It gave us a whole week to say our farewells.
I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I really wouldn’t.”
Jim is now preparing to take on the Havens
Hardcore with five team mates; Ross Gurney, Michelle Hughes, Dave Riley,
Leofric Crumpton-Taylor and Tony Ingoe. Together they will tackle eight foot walls, barb wire crawl nets,
monkey bars and balance beams in Jack’s memory for Little Havens, which
provides free, specialist care for babies, children and teenagers from across
Essex with life-limiting conditions.
mum Allison, 50, will also be there on the day, cheering Jim and his team on
and handing out medals to everyone who crosses the finish line.
Havens Hardcore takes place on Saturday 29th October at 2pm at
Castle Park in Colchester. Entry is £20 per person with group discounts
available. Participants are encouraged to ask friends and family for
sponsorship to raise money for the children’s hospice. Online registration is
open now at www.havenshospices.org.uk/havenshardcore or you can email Events Fundraiser Cathryn Wood or call 01702 220337.