Father to run marathon in honour of stillborn son

by Ian Begley
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A bereaved father from Castleknock is taking on the London Marathon in honour of his stillborn son.
Stephen Doran, aged 34, will be running in the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon this Saturday, to raise money for Tommy’s, a charity that specialises in medical research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth.
The marathon will be the final fitness challenge for Doran who completed a year’s worth of treks, marathons and a hike from London to his hometown in Llantrisant, Wales – the equivalent of six marathons in five days.
Altogether Doran, who is a senior student advisor at the University of South Wales’ Cardiff campus, has raised more than €15,000 for the charity after he and his wife Karen’s son, Jude, was stillborn in November 2014.
Describing his journey thus far, Doran said: “Karen was first aware of a problem three days after her due date on October 31 and decided to go to the University Hospital of Wales with a friend for a check-up.
“I received a phone call from our friend, who asked me to come to the hospital. At this moment, we were unaware of any bad news.
“As I entered the room, Karen had just been told the terrible news that there was no heartbeat.
“I will never forget the feeling of total loss and heartbreak at that moment, as Karen and I held each other.
“We only had a scan two weeks previously, with nothing suggesting anything abnormal. Karen now had the knowledge that she still had to give birth to our baby, knowing that he would not be coming home with us.”
Jude Joseph Doran was born after a nine-hour labour.
“As I held my baby son for the first time, at that moment, I felt like the proudest father in the world.
“Despite us knowing that Jude will never open his eyes, never hold my finger with his chunky hands and never kick a football with his daddy, nothing can ever take that moment away from me.”
Doran added that the tragedy has inspired him to set himself a fundraising challenge.
“To date I have raised £12,600 and hope to reach £13,500 (nearly €17,000). I am also selling tickets for a raffle for some great boxing prizes, including some signed boxing gloves signed by some ex-world champions.
“So many people donate generously for charities throughout the year, but if any good can come of this tragedy, and in memory of our beautiful baby boy Jude, I will be so grateful for any help to raise much-needed funds to assist Tommy’s with their research.”
For more information or to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Race4Jude or email [email protected]

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