Devoted dad goes the extra miles to help find cure for his young son

A fundraising drive by a devoted dad from Worksop, whose young son has a condition that cannot be cured, is to include a shot at the London Marathon.

Monday, 16th January 2017, 9:10 am
Updated Monday, 16th January 2017, 9:11 am
Rob Ferrol with (from left) son Andrew and fellow JDRF fundraisers, Linda Foy and Mia Richards.

Nine-year-old Andrew Ferrol, of Windermere Close, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just three. And since then, dad Rob, 46, has been raising money for a charity, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), that funds research, raises awareness and gives support.

So far, Rob, a paramedic at Worksop Ambulance Station, has generated more than £10,000. But now he is to tackle his biggest challenge yet and his first full marathon.

“What spurred me on was seeing one of Andrew’s school teaching assistants, Linda Foy, and a teacher, Kat Cunliffe, do the London Marathon to raise money for JDRF in 2015,” said Rob, who is also a part-time photographer. “It was pretty humbling to see them punish themselves for your child.”

Linda is to join Rob again this time round, on Sunday, April 23. They have been busy not only training but also gathering sponsorship because they must pledge at least £2,000 each in return for an official place in the event on behalf of JDRF.

Rob is to run half-marathons too and has set up a JustGiving page online, while Andrew’s mum, Sam, 44, has organised a sponsored run by 40 youngsters at the Clumber Park 5k parkrun on Saturday, April 15. Anyone who wants to support it can contact her at [email protected]

Type 1 diabetes, which causes blood-sugar levels to go too high, affects 29,000 children in the UK. Despite the condition, Andrew, who has a 17-year-old sister, Jodie, leads an active life and enjoys running with Worksop Harriers, swimming and going to Cubs. But daily treatment includes constant monitoring, finger-pricks to check his blood-sugar levels and injections of insulin. It’s estimated that he’s had more than 20,000 finger-pricks since he was diagnosed!

Andrew receives support from his school, St John’s Academy in Worksop, which even made JDRF its chosen charity two years ago and raised £6,000. One of his fellow pupils, five-year-old Mia Richards, has raised £400 by completing a family fun run.

Two other schools, Sturton le Steeple Primary and Bracken Lane Primary in Retford, have also backed the cause by staging events to boost JDRF, whose ultimate aim is to find a cure for and eradicate Type 1 diabetes.