Introducing the #TeamTHS London Marathon team (part one)

Written by Sam Wilson, April 15, 2024

It’s marathon week and we’re incredibly lucky to have a fantastic team of runners representing the Haemophilia Society (THS) in this year’s race. We’ve been introducing them over the past few weeks on our socials and wanted to take the opportunity to find out a little more about them and their reasons for running for us.

So, here’s the first half of #TeamTHS:

Matt Sutton

Over the past couple of years, Matt has taken part in an astounding 10 swimming and running events to raise money for THS. Inspired by his grandma and uncle, Matt took it upon himself to test his limits and take on a range of challenges.

These include:

  • Richmond Half Marathon – which he ran three times, improving his time by 19 minutes
  • A team swim in which Matt and his friend Will swam 5k each (a half marathon in swimming terms)
  • An endurance swim – where Matt swam 1k every hour for 12 hours through the night

Matt’s efforts have seen him raise well over £3,000 so far and he’s now set to take on his biggest challenge yet in the London Marathon 2024.

“This is the first time I’ve had just one goal in mind, and I’ve followed a solid training programme of nutrition, rest and recovery. It’s becoming like an addiction, preparing for the London Marathon, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ll be nervous, as I’m not a natural runner, but training has been really good.”

Wilson McTeare

Wilson is taking on the marathon in memory of his uncle, Jonathan, who died as a result of receiving contaminated blood products.

Like his late uncle, Wilson has severe haemophilia A, but feels grateful that he has access to excellent treatment that means running marathons is possible. In fact, this will be Wilson’s ninth marathon. He took up running during lockdown and, despite his physiotherapist’s reluctance, has been competing in marathons ever since.

As well as running the marathon, Wilson is also remembering his uncle, and all those who have died from contaminated blood, through his work on a short film about the contaminated blood scandal. He will be unveiling this at a film screening and art exhibition in central London later this week as part of his fundraising for Haemophilia Society.

‘It’s eye-opening that a lot of people have never heard about the infected blood scandal and I think it is something that everyone should know about.’

On London Marathan day, Wilson will be demonstrating just how much can be achieved by people with a bleeding disorder, while remembering all those with haemophilia, especially Jonathan, whose potential was never realised.

Wilson said: ‘The Haemophilia Society has always been a great support for my family and me. It’s made me feel a part of something which is why I wanted to raise money for the charity as well as, hopefully, raising awareness about haemophilia and the infected blood scandal.’

Wilson’s fundraising film screening art exhibition is taking place on Friday 19 April from 6-8pm at 20 Eastcastle St, London W1W 8DB. The event which is open to anyone.

Paula McCabe

Our Finance Officer, Paula, is the Haemophilia Society staff representative on our marathon team. Seeing the work we do first hand has inspired her to go that extra mile (or 26.2 miles) to help us raise vital funds.

“I’ve always dipped in and out of running & fitness but during lockdown I really increased what I was doing, running 3-4 times a week and doing home workouts, it was honestly my saving grace and my time to myself. Since lockdown I’ve continued on my running and fitness journey, completing my first half marathon last October – the Royal Parks half. 

I knew I wanted to challenge myself and run the London Marathon, and I decided to run it for the Haemophilia Society as I’ve been working there for 3 years now and see now hard everyone behind the scenes works, and what a difference the society makes to the bleeding disorder community. As well as raising much needed money for the society, I’m also hoping to raise awareness as before starting to work at THS I had very little awareness of bleeding disorders myself.”

Jamie Fox

Jamie is running the marathon for his 18-month old son, Aherlow, who has severe haemophilia A. The last year and a half have been a massive learning curve for Jamie and his family as they get to grips with what it means for Aherlow, his childhood and his future.

Jamie said: “I didn’t grow up with haemophilia in the family, so learning about its day-to-day impact was hard. My son was only two days old and doctors were telling me he’d never play contact sports, which is probably every dad’s dream to do with their little boy. It was a lot to take in.”

However, the more they learn, the more confident they become. Part of Jamie’s motivation for doing the marathon is supporting THS in increasing awareness and education.

“I want more people to understand what these little boys and girls have to go through if they have a bleeding disorder, which is why I wanted to run the London Marathon for the Haemophilia Society. It’s important that we get the word out about haemophilia and I wanted to do my bit to help those babies just like mine deal with everyday life.”

 Hannah Todd and Ross McAuley

Hannah and Ross will be running the London Marathon as a thank you to the Haemophilia Society for providing support when their son was diagnosed with haemophilia B.

Gus was six months old when he was diagnosed with severe haemophilia, which came as a shock as there was no known family link to the condition. However, since then Hannah’s mum and two sisters have discovered they are carriers of the gene.

Hannah said: ‘When Gus was first diagnosed, we kept thinking about all the things he wouldn’t be able to do, but thanks to resources from the Haemophilia Society and listening to the experiences of other parents, we are now a lot more confident that he can do anything he wants, within reason.’

They’re running the marathon, not just to help raise funds but, to tell their story and encourage others in their position.

“This is a challenge we both wanted to take on because although it’s been a difficult year since Gus was diagnosed, we’ve learnt so much and now see haemophilia in a much more positive light. We really believe that nothing is going to hold Gus back.”

We’ll be back later to introduce the second half of the team – in the meantime, you can show your support by sponsoring our runners here.