Race Day: 11 April 2021

Little Jimmy’s Brighter Future Fund to raise money for GOSH

Pete and Emily Shaw’s son James became suddenly unwell in October 2016 when he was five weeks old. His parents were told he could have sepsis and a blood clot in his bowel. After receiving treatment at his local hospital, James, known to his family as Jimmy, was transferred by the Children's Acute Transfer Service (CATS) ambulance team to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and admitted to its intensive care unit. Despite the best efforts of all involved he could not be saved and died in his parents’ arms. 

After his death, the couple from Islington set up the ‘Little Jimmy’s Brighter Future Fund’ to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity as a tribute to him.  Last year, to raise money for this special fund, they were joined by over 100 friends, family members and even complete strangers, to take on Royal Parks Half Marathon course. It’s a feat they’ll be attempting again this year too, with places in ‘Team Little Jimmy’ still available to those runners who secured their place through the Royal Parks ballot and are looking for a cause to support.

Emily Shaw says: “It is beyond words to explain how difficult it was to see Jimmy so desperately unwell and how bereft his death has left us all. We set up Little Jimmy’s Brighter Future Fund to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, to honour his memory.”

Just three weeks after Jimmy’s death, his twin sister Izzy suddenly became unwell with an unrelated condition and within 24 hours was undergoing emergency surgery at GOSH.  

Pete Shaw explains, “We genuinely believed we were going to lose a second child that day and it was nothing short of torture. Thankfully Izzy’s operation was successful and she recovered. GOSH gave us our very best hope of saving Jimmy, saved the life of his twin sister, and took extremely delicate care of us as parents in the process.

Emily describes how and why she and Pete decided to fundraise; “One of our sticking plasters has been trying to give back, and we set ourselves a target of raising enough money for GOSH to buy two specialist ventilators for the CATS ambulances to take the sickest of children, like James, from their local hospital to GOSH for the very best of care.

The support from family and friends has meant a lot to the couple, as Pete explains; “‘We’ is the key word in that sentence. ‘We’ is friends, family, colleagues and complete strangers donating, running events like the Royal Parks Half Marathon with me and Emily, cycling, baking and many more things to help buy the equipment, but in their words, to help ‘try and walk with us on that road to recovery’.

After recruiting a team of over 100 runners to join them and complete the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2017, Pete and Emily have smashed their initial fundraising target and are now aiming to raise enough money to equip a brand new, state-of-the-art operating theatre and a pre- and post-anaesthetic care room for children at GOSH.  They’ll be running this year’s event with another amazing team of family members, friends and even complete strangers who have all been moved by their story and want to show their support as they create a lasting legacy for their much-loved son James.

Team Little Jimmy has over 50 runners taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon this year, if you have secured a ballot place for this year’s event and would like to join them and fundraise, you can sign up to join the team here.

To donate £5 to the Little Jimmy Brighter Future Fund in aid of GOSH Charity, text: RPHM96 £5 to 70070, or visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peteandemilyforlittlejimmy?utm_id=27