A COUPLE whose son died aged eight are running this year’s London Marathon in his memory to raise money for a charity which has supported them.

Kate and Nick Mellor decided to take on the huge challenge in memory of their eldest son Jake, who died in 2018.

Jake was born with lots of complex medical needs including cerebral palsy, however, his death came as a shock because his condition was life-limiting, not life-threatening.

Speaking to the Gazette, 40-year-old Kate explained that she and her family benefited from the support of Sebastian’s Action Trust when Jake was alive.

The charity runs The Bluebells, in North Waltham, which is the UK’s only purpose-built facility offering accessible breaks exclusively to families of seriously ill children, and those who are recently bereaved.

Kate, who also has two daughters aged eight and four, said: “We had amazing days out through Sebastian’s Action Trust. Jake loved swimming but we couldn’t go to a leisure centre because they didn’t have the facilities for him. So, The Bluebells meant we could have a proper family swim together.”

When Jake died, the charity offered the family bereavement support.

“It was completely unexpected. It was awful,” said schoolteacher Kate, adding: “Sebastian’s Action Trust offered us support and they are still very much in our lives.”

Kate was offered a charity place in the London Marathon to raise money for Sebastian’s Action Trust, and she and her husband Nick, 46, decided to take on the challenge.

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The couple, who live near Southampton, are now training together, running up to 16 miles in preparation for the gruelling challenge on October 3.

Kate said she will be thinking of Jake during the run, saying: “Jake was only here for eight years. He had severe cerebral palsy so he was non-verbal but he just loved life. He was so full of life.

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“He worked so hard even to do little things we take for granted. He did that for us. He had so many challenges but he made life easy for us, he was a joy and pleasure to be around. It’s nice to do something to make him proud.”

Kate said Sebastian’s Action Trust has offer tremendous support following Jake’s death, explaining: “At Jake’s funeral, I can remember just spending hours being hugged by friends and family, over 400 people attended Jake’s funeral. I remember seeing, in amongst all those people, our outreach worker Sue, with two huge teddies for Jake’s sisters.”

She added: “When Jake died, we became one of their Butterfly families. The bereavement support they have given us all has been a real lifesaver. They continue to include and remember Jakey, they support the girls and us in so many ways so we can’t think of a better charity to run 26.2 miles for.”

The couple have so far raised more than £2,000 of their £5,000 target. To sponsor them visit www.sebastiansactiontrust.org/missiontomarathon.