11 Dec 2013

Fundraising runner gets splashed with paint in happiest 5k on the planet

 Noah Robert Hobden

While various runners around the world are gearing up for the annual Santa dash, fundraiser Laura Foreman, who works in Dubai, is doing things a little differently this Christmas. On Saturday 14 December she’ll be taking part in the inaugural ‘Color Run’ in Dubai – an international fun run attracting runners from across the globe.

Dubbed the ‘happiest 5k on the planet’ the festival of colour promises to be a ‘one of a kind’ experience where runners don their whitest outfits and get splashed by vibrant flicks of paint at each kilometre. The race concludes with a spectacular ‘finish festival’ where runners are given bags of coloured powder to throw around. The event only has two rules: wear white at the start line and finish plastered in colour.

Laura has pulled together a team of 16 colour-happy runners to raise money for Noah’s BIG Charity. It’s a charity set up by close friends Lydia and Richard Hobden, following the loss of their son Noah at 91 days old.

For small babies with big dreams

Their story is moving yet inspirational. In Richard’s own words, on the 9th of January 2013 his life was “irreversibly changed”. His pregnant wife Lydia suffered a sudden heart attack at home. Rushed to A&E Lydia was not only fighting for her own life but at 24 weeks and six days pregnant, she was also fighting for the life of their unborn son.

Noah Robert Hobden arrived that morning, weighing 1 pound 15 ounces (870g), some 15 weeks earlier than expected. Courageously, Lydia battled through and was discharged 12 days later. For Noah, however, the outlook was not so positive. One of the youngest babies on the premature ward, he also became one of the longest residents over the next few months.

Despite the apparent signs of recovery over the next three months, later tests showed that Noah’s brain was failing to develop. On day 90 it became apparent Noah had suffered a significant degree of brain damage. The following day, on 10th April 2013, Noah was allowed to pass away peacefully at 91 days old.

A legacy to a strong and courageous little boy

Inspired by Noah’s struggle for life, Lydia and Richard created Noah’s BIG Charity to support Neonatal Intensive Care units in two local hospitals. The charity aims to supplement NHS services within the Neonatal Intensive Care field of study and care, using independent funding.

Funds raised will be used to support and improve the facilities, research and care, specifically within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Ward 8D, at the Royal London Hospital Whitechapel, London, and for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Basildon Hospital, Essex.

Speaking about her fundraising efforts, Laura said: “I decided I wanted to arrange an event here and create a team and have my own Dubai Team Noah to show my commitment and support to this charity and my friends, Lydia and Rich.”

Maximising every donation

For Laura, using MyDonate means every penny raised goes further to realising the charity’s mission.

She said: “I believe Noah’s BIG Charity chose to use MyDonate as it represented the most cost-effective vehicle available. This maximises every donation received and affords greater opportunity to support their grant funding aims.”

Support Laura’s run on her fundraising page

Find out more about Noah’s BIG charity

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