A young woman from Chingford is aiming to complete her first half marathon race in memory of her baby nephew who died at just six-weeks-old.

Sophie Lever is preparing for the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday 24 March and is raising money for our hospice who provided care and support to her nephew Reggie during the last few days of his life.

Sophie said the hospice, which cares for children with life-limiting conditions, gave her family ‘precious time together’ during the unimaginable.

The 21-year-old said: My family were taken aback by the level of care and understanding that the nurses provided, and we are so grateful for the specialist care and love that Haven House gave not only to my beautiful nephew but to the whole of our family.

From the moment we arrived with Reggie to the moment we left without him the whole team was there by our side. They gave us the time we needed with him. They let us stay in the family flat, supported Reggie’s siblings and the staff kept popping in to check that we were all okay including Reggie, even though he had passed away the nurses never forgot about him.

Sophie’s sister Lindsay had found out during her pregnancy that her baby was seriously ill. Reggie defied the odds and survived the birth but he was unable to breath unaided. He was transferred from Great Ormond Street Hospital to Haven House, where he died surrounded by his family. 

Sophie added: “There were so many special and personal touches to the care and support we received. The hospice arranged a photographer to come in and take family photos of our last moments with Reggie. The care team took Reggie’s foot prints and made them into charms so we could put them onto a necklace. Staff also put together memory boxes for my mum and sister to keep. The support was just unbelievable and even continued when we got back home and had to try and return to normality.”

While training has been tougher than she first expected, Sophie is determined to make her family proud and raise vital funds for Haven House in Woodford Green.

“I feel very privileged and excited to be running on behalf of my nephew and Haven House. I always think of my Reg when running it always pushes me to keep going,” she continued.“I get to raise money for such a great cause which goes towards helping support the amazing work they do, while also being able to raise awareness of hospice care.”

To sponsor Sophie please visit her fundraising page.