Firefighter dad takes to streets for Beckton hospice

A firefighter will be running the London Marathon for the hospice that cared for his baby daughter during her last days.

Alan Brown, 44, wants to give something back to Richard House Children’s Hospice where the staff looked after his daughter Charlotte who passed away in June 2009, just eight days old. She was born with Edwards Syndrome and could not breathe on her own. She also had a problem with her heart.

He said: “We had spent six to seven days in St Thomas’s Hospital, in London, and at that time we were told that Charlotte could last anything from 10 minutes to 10 hours - they just didn’t know.

“It was at that time Richard House was suggested. We knew nothing about the place and I have to say the thought of going to a hospice filled me with fear.

“It just so happened that a very nice young lady who worked at Richard House was in the hospital and came to see us. She put a lot of our fears at rest.”

Unsure as to whether little Charlotte would survive the journey, Alan and his wife Carole decided they had to go to the hospice.

Alan continued: “The welcome we received at Richard House was fantastic. What was really nice was we got to walk Charlotte around the gardens just before she passed away.”

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Alan, who lives in Maidstone, Kent, will be setting off on the 26.2-mile London Marathon, on April 17, accompanied by fellow fire fighter Symon Wildgoose.

Alan said: “At the moment, I still do not know how I am going to run 26 miles, but I am really looking forward to the day as I have been told there is nothing like it. The crowd pull you around the course.

“What impressed me at Richard House was the care, respect and help we received throughout our stay - nothing was too much trouble.

“We didn’t know what we needed to do following Charlotte’s death. Richard House helped us sort it all out and, for that reason, I want to try and give something back so other families can receive the same level of support.”

They have raised �1,075 but are hoping to reach their �5,000 target. To sponsor them visit

* Are you from Newham or east-London in general and running the London Marathon and have a story to tell. Then contact the Newsdesk via or phone (020) 8477 3876.