Sheffield dad to run a marathon to thank Children’s Hospital for caring for his twin sons

Stockholm Marathon -  John Armitage, 44, will take on the Stockholm marathon this weekend.
Stockholm Marathon - John Armitage, 44, will take on the Stockholm marathon this weekend.

A dad is taking on his first marathon this weekend to raise money for the Sheffield hospital which cared for his twin boys.

John Armitage, aged 44, from Nether Edge, has been sponsored to race in Sweden to help The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Jacob and Gabriel Armitage now 10 years old

Jacob and Gabriel Armitage now 10 years old

The Steel City Striders running club member said he entered the ASICS Stockholm Marathon tomorrow as a thank you for the care his sons have received at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield.

Jacob and Gabriel, now aged 10, were born seven weeks prematurely in 2004 and were referred to the hospital for treatment for eye conditions and physiotherapy at Ryegate - the hospital’s centre for children with complex neurological disorders.

Their dad said: “When you have had such great care, to actually give something back is amazing to do.

“The staff we come into contact with have gone above and beyond and do genuinely care and we are eternally grateful for their support.

Jacob and Gabriel Armitage before their diagnosis

Jacob and Gabriel Armitage before their diagnosis

“You don’t have to break any records to do it. Regardless of the distance, anyone can get their running shoes on and go for it.”

The twins’ mum, Rachel, 40, said: “We should have a permanent parking space the amount of times we’ve been to the hospital with the boys. What with eye surgeries, monthly monitoring of vision and then all the other things that boys their age go through - broken wrists and sprained ankles - we often thought what next?”

“When I think about what we’ve had in terms of resources and the way people have cared for us before an operation or while waiting for results about a tumour, what we’re doing to fundraise feels like nothing.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/Armitage-John/