Running for Annabelle and Phoebe

6 August 2018

Inspired by the strength he sees in his daughters every day, father of two Conrad took on the challenge to run City2Surf not only for Annabelle and Phoebe, but all kids that need Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick. Read their story... 

“Running City2Surf and supporting the Foundation is my way of looking after my kids and being there for other families too."

Annabelle, now aged 13, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when she was seven. It all started with her having painful and distressing stomach problems. She’s tried lots of medication over the past six years, including powerful immunosuppressants and different treatments to manage her pain. She’s also needed to be on a liquid diet which is tough when you’re a kid at school and your friends are able to eat whatever food they like.

Crohn’s can be a difficult illness to manage and we’ve been in and out of the Hospital over the past seven years. But then last year, we faced it all again when our youngest Phoebe, 11, was diagnosed with childhood arthritis.

Having one child in Hospital is tough and finding out Phoebe also had a life-long illness was pretty scary. One week she was in so much pain she couldn’t walk and needed a wheelchair. She loves tennis, so we were terrified she wouldn’t be able to play anymore.

The Hospital have been amazing and for now, we are hopeful. There’s no known cure for either of my girls’ conditions but both have now been made manageable. We just take it day by day and do everything we can to keep it that way.

As you can imagine, having two kids who need the Hospital has meant we’ve spent a lot of time there. I wouldn’t wish what we’re going through on anyone. But you always see families that have it worse.

I don't have any chronic health issues which so many kids, including my own, have to deal with. Yet I was becoming the ‘old man’ who couldn't keep up at the park when we played. I couldn't even run around the park without stopping many times. Now I do 10 kilometres a bit quicker than milk can turn!

I always said I would like to give City2Surf a crack, but never have turned talk into action. No more excuses, my own kids, and others I see at Hospital, are all inspiring. Now it’s time to give back, start training, run for the kids and earn some coin for a great cause.” 

Check out Conrad and cheer on the 345 amazing Team Kids runners conquering City2Surf this Sunday 12 June!  

    Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation raises funds for Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick , The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS NSW) and Kids Research