Participants in the futures industry, including FIA’s chief commercial officer Emma Davey and vice president of member relations Myriam Condon, are taking part in the 2019 Guy’s Urban Challenge in London on 29 September to raise money for St Thomas’ Evelina children’s hospital.
The challenge has been organized by Adrienne Muir, chief operating officer at VoxSmart, and her husband Stuart, previously an executive manager at Trayport, who have been raising money for Evelina for the past four years. The challenge is in memory of their son John, who died when he was just eight days old.
John and his twin Harry – named after their grandfathers – were born at St Thomas’s Hospital on 4 September 2014. Although they weighed an impressive six pounds, they were premature at 34 weeks and were transferred to Evelina’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which offers specialised equipment and care for babies who need extra support.
“During our time at the hospital we kept Harry and John together in John’s cot as much as we could, and Harry loved snuggling up to his little brother,” said Muir.
Tragically, five days after they were born, John was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 13. Three days later, surrounded by his family, John passed away.
“We felt like our family had been ripped apart at the seams. I had no idea how to piece it back together. In those final days with John, one thing that we were both very clear about was that while it was the worst time of our lives, we wanted to do something to remember John and to give back to a hospital who helped us in so many ways,” said Muir.
“The staff at Evelina are incredible, from the nurses through to the doctors. We know that there are many children who are unwell and being taken care of there, and we want our money to go towards supporting families through these difficult times.”
Over the past four years the Muirs, along with their children Alexandra and Harry and friends from within and outside the futures industry, have taken part in various fundraising events and have raised more than £30,000 for Evelina. The target this year is to raise at least £6,000 for equipment and additional services for patients and their families.
“There is not a day that goes by when we don’t think and talk about John,” said Muir. “We said we would honour him and each year we challenge ourselves to do something out of our comfort zone in his memory.”
“This year we are supported by a large contingent of friends from the futures industry, John and Harry’s godmothers, school friends, and even members of staff at the children’s school. We are grateful to have so many people helping.”
Along with the FIA staff, other team members include Cathy Lyall, co-founder of Seismic Foundry; Clare Black, head of communications and diversity at Innovate Finance; Julie Carruthers, previously global head of operations and chief of staff at TP ICAP; and Rob Alexander, head of corporate hedgers Europe at ABN AMRO.
The team of 26 adults will run 2.5km, spin 15km and climb 29 floors – in total, an eye-watering 650 steps – to the top of Guy’s Hospital Tower. The 20 intrepid junior members of the team will run 1km, choose between 25 burpees or star jumps, and climb the 29 floors to the hospital summit.
For more information about the challenge and to donate, please visit the Team Muir Urban Challenge fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving.