Grateful dad hits the road for charity

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ONE man lining up at the start of the Jedburgh half marathon will be running to say thank you.

Steve Cummings is raising money for the special care baby unit at the Borders General Hospital where his youngest daughter received care in the first two months of her life.

The 29-year-old builder said: “I’m looking forward to finishing the race and handing over the cheque, and feeling like my wife and I have given something back to the SCBU.”

Jedburgh couple Steve and Sarah have three daughters, Alex,13, Jo Jo, 10, and three-year-old Stephanie who was born by Caesarian Section 10 weeks premature in Edinburgh. She remained there for a week before she could be moved to the BGH where she was cared for for a further seven weeks.

“Stephanie had to be fed through a tube in her nose as she was too little to handle being fed by bottle,” explained Steve. “She needed a blood transfusion, ultra violet lights on her for jaundice and she also had to be kept on watch for her heart as her heart rate was up and down all the time.

“The SCBU provided clothes for Stephanie as she was only 3lb 5oz and we couldn’t find any to fit. They also were very helpful – there was someone to talk to at any time, day or night, and they didn’t mind me going in late at night to spend time with Stephanie as it was sometimes hard during the day due to work.

“They did a great job looking after her.”

He says he will find the half marathon tough as he hasn’t run properly since completing a marathon in 2005, also to raise money. On that occasion it was for the neonatal unit in Edinburgh where the couple’s daughter Hope was born 15 weeks prematurely. Sadly, she died when she was two weeks old.

“Her body couldn’t cope as she was simply not developed enough,” said Steve.

He says the biggest challenge of the upcoming half marathon is the training.

“It’s been difficult, but I think of the reason I’m doing it and that keeps me going,” he said. “In 2005 I raised £1,030 for the neonatal unit, but this time around I’d like to raise double the amount.

“I know it will be hard with the recession, but I think it can be done and it’s for a cause that can help many families in the Borders.”

People can support Steve by donating through Jedburgh shops: Taylors newsagents, From Me to You, Alan Learmouth’s butchers, Ladbrokes, Spar, The Royal Hotel, the Coop in Canongate, and Baguette’n’Go and at BJ’s Bakers in Galashiels.