‘Fireman-kini’ to take on Great North Run for LHCH Charity
A fire fighter from Dudley in North Tyneside is preparing for pain, as well as embarrassment, in order to raise funds for the hospital that cared for his father-in-law during the last three months of his life.
Whilst Darren Stephenson, 36, hopes to complete the famous Great North Run for the fifth time this weekend (Sunday 10th September) – it will be the first time wearing a mankini.
The experience will be worth it for Darren, if it means he’s able to give something back to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity as a thank you for the round the clock care received by Richard, his father-in-law, from an array of caring and compassionate staff.
Darren said: “Everyone at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, from the nurses and doctors to the intensive care reception staff, were so kind.
“Although it was a sad and difficult time for us as a family, we were so conscious of the utmost dignity and respect shown towards Richard by all of the staff throughout his care and treatment.”
Darren, who works for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, is due to get married next year to 35-year-old Linda, from Fazakerley. the love of his life.
He said: “It was Linda’s dad who allowed me to pursue my career in the fire service, as he very generously invited me to move into his home during me 23 week training course, which started last September.
“However not long afterwards, Richard became very ill and after a prolonged hospital stay, he sadly passed away in December.”
Darren, who is also an army reservist for the 4th batallion Parachute Regiment, says he’s completing the Great North Run in a mankini, in memory of Richard.
“It’s always a costume I’ve worn to stag do’s, with friends on holiday and at family gatherings and so I thought it would be a bit of good fun in support of a very worthwhile cause!
“I’ve completed it dressed as a ballerina, and wearing the football shirt of my arch rivals Sunderland, although I had a Newcastle shirt on underneath, but this is the first and perhaps last time wearing a mankini. Hopefully it won’t be too cold on the day.”
Find out more about the work of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Charity