A special thank you for a phenomenal #EveryDayinMay4Dravet 2023!
A huge and heartfelt congratulations and thank you to Tamara (Tats) Ward, whose #EveryDayinMay4Dravet challenge has raised a phenomenal £85,000 in 2023.
We wanted to wish Tats the most special of thank yous! Who better to hear it from, than those she's so tirelessly worked to support? Our surprise video below shares messages from those living with Dravet Syndrome.
Tats was inspired to set up the #EveryDayinMay4Dravet challenge in 2021 when she was unable to visit her seven-year-old nephew, Dominic, who lives with Dravet Syndrome, in hospital during the COVID lockdowns.
Finding out about Dominic’s condition was such a shock. At first all I could think about was how I could support my sister. During the pandemic, it was so hard for my sister and other families living with Dravet Syndrome. They were so isolated. Dominic had his worst ever seizure and was in intensive care. We couldn’t visit him in hospital or be there for my sister. It was devastating.
I remember going out for a long run to clear my head. When I came back, I said to my husband, ‘Right, I can't sit and do nothing. We need to start raising money for Dravet Syndrome UK’. And I came up with my idea of ‘Running 5k every day in May for Dravet’. We thought it would just be a handful of our closest friends and family, but we had around 40 runners that first year.
Since then, the campaign has gone from strength to strength, with 280 runners taking part this year, reaching from Tamara's Oxfordshire home, across the UK and as far afield as Finland, US, India and Australia. Individually, the runners completed almost four marathons in a month. It’s also become a family-friendly challenge, with 50 children taking part in 2023, running a slightly shorter, but still incredibly impressive, 2K #EveryDayinMay4Dravet. Together, they covered around 24,000 miles, a distance roughly equivalent to the circumference of the earth.
Tats has tirelessly worked to raise funds and awareness of Dravet Syndrome and her dedication, commitment and drive to running this incredible challenge is truly inspirational. Smashing the original target of £50,000, the #EveryDayinMay4Dravet runners have raised a phenomenal £85,000 this year!
As well as funds, Tats has raised a huge amount of awareness around Dravet Syndrome, too. You can watch her interview with BBC South Today, which aired on 28th June 2023, as well as read the news articles below.
BBC News Oxford | Oxfordshire Live | Oxford Mail | Banbury Guardian | Smiley Movement
Galia Wilson (Chair of Trustees) said: "It’s so exciting for this challenge to have grown each year. Tamara really is an inspiration and we’re so grateful for her dedication to raising funds and awareness of Dravet Syndrome. As a small charity with no government funding, all donations received make a huge difference in helping us to continue our vital work supporting and empowering families, educating professionals and funding research. We’re so thankful to Tats for spear-heading this incredible challenge and to everyone who has taken part, donated, or supported through plentiful cheers from the side-lines. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved- you're inspirational."
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