Dunton two-year-old’s trek earns him a national award nomination
Felix Brown has been shortlisted for the John Petchey Young Hero Award at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2020.
Felix’s dad, Ed Brown, was supposed to run the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon with Team Anthony Nolan, but due to the ongoing pandemic, it was cancelled and instead the team organised ‘The 2.6 Challenge’, which took place on the weekend the marathon should have happened, in April 2020. Participants could take on any challenge related to the number 2.6, 26 or 26.2 to make up for the marathon being unable to go ahead and to help charities who would be missing out on some much needed funds.
When it was cancelled, Felix helped his dad’s fundraising efforts by taking part, and the then one-year-old went for a 2.6km trek through the public footpaths of Dunton, listening to the music of The Wiggles to spur him on.
Ed said: “After each run, Felix would mimic me and use my headphones, water bottle and put on my hi-vis running jacket and run around the house. This was the inspiration behind his support in the 2.6km challenge.”
Ed lost his dad to blood cancer when he was only eight-years-old and fundraises for Anthony Nolan in his memory. By taking on the 2.6 challenge Felix raised £1,000 towards his dad’s fundraising, taking Ed’s total to £2,000.
Ed said: “When the marathon was cancelled, I was absolutely gutted. Prior to this marathon, I was due to run for Anthony Nolan in the 2019 London Marathon, but I had a brain haemorrhage at Christmas which required a hospital stay, including physio help and a lot of support from my family, including Felix, and I was told that I probably wouldn’t be able to run it again by the specialists. Wanting to show Felix that you can do anything you set your mind to was my inspiration to continue.”
Speaking about Felix’s nomination, Ed said: “I am so proud of Felix. He is always amazing and has supported me in many ways that he will never truly appreciate. This run was amazing and he was a true runner, right to the finish line. We even got a sprint finish out of him back to the front door.
“He posed for photos, he recorded messages and managed to help get support from people we had never even met who saw what he did and wanted to donate. And the boy loves posing for a photo!”
The prestigious Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards are back for their eighth year and will recognise the outstanding achievements of the volunteers, fundraisers, clinical supporters and donors who help the pioneering blood cancer charity save lives. The awards ceremony is usually held at the Tower of London, but with mass gatherings of this nature currently unable to take place there will be a digital celebration instead, where celebrities and other specially invited supporters will announce the winners of each category in specially pre-recorded films.
Henny Braund, chief executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “It is remarkable to see how many people support our work to find a match for those in need of a stem cell transplant. Without them, none of our life-saving work would be possible.
“Young Felix has shown tremendous commitment to Anthony Nolan, 2.6km is a no easy feat for a one-year-old.”
All winners will be revealed at 7pm on Thursday, February 11 at www.anthonynolan.org/awards