The Christopher Angus Fund
Blog by Michael Angus
On 27th October 2014, my son Christopher MacDonald Angus, then aged six, passed away. Since his birth Christopher suffered from complex heart rate and heart rhythm problems caused by a rare genetic mutation. For his whole life he was an outpatient at the Royal Hospital for Children, at Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK.
Subsequent to his passing, we, the Angus family, established ‘The Christopher Angus Fund’ as a focus to raise funds in support of: GLASGOW CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CHARITY (Reg No: SCO07856)
In 2015 we initially donated over £8000 to the charity, and then, from 2016, with no previous experience I set out to raise additional funds by completing a number of trek challenges.
May 2016: 150K WEST HIGHLAND WAY TREK
Oct 2016: 75K GREAT WALL OF CHINA TREK
Jan 2017: 75K ARCTIC TREK
Originally a fundraising target of £10,000 was set – but funds raised reached over £15,000. These funds have allowed the hospital to purchase one hundred and fifty AlveCor Cardiac Monitors - these monitors are cutting edge life-saving technology, they replace ECG monitoring that previously may have entailed invasive surgical procedure, significantly therefore improving the experience for families and children requiring regular ECG monitoring. Funds are also being used to establish viability for a Joint Inherited (genetic) Cardiac Unit: a staff/family liaison clinic that allows both paediatric patients and parents can be diagnosed together, combining adult cardiology, paediatric cardiology and genetic services.
It would be fair to say that I did not undertake to complete the treks as part of any preconceived plan – they were incentivised by grief and the need simply, to do something. However, now completed, the desire to pursue further activities of this nature has, if anything, been enthused, and is stronger. As such, I have developed a longer term plan, to complete at least one challenge trek every year for the next three years. Challenge treks therefore planned for 2017 to 2019 are:
Sept 2017: 80K The Rockies, Canada
Oct 2018: 8 day trek: Grand Canyon, USA
July 2019: 5 day trek: The Lava Trail, Iceland
Each trek is incrementally harder than the next, with the aim to raise £6000 annually for the charity. Committing to such an undertaking is of course a challenge in itself – to both raise the funds, and to maintain the training, which is fairly constant, time consuming and of itself, exhausting – and I am plagued constantly by the consequences of grief which continue to haunt both mind and body. Support then, becomes invaluable.
The collaboration established with Pamoja at the beginning of 2017 could not have come at a more beneficial moment; the dedication to support directly the fundraising aspect of these challenges is, in and of itself, tremendous – but the spirit of Pamoja: ‘Daring to find a better way.’ inspires in an immeasurable but no less tangible way. I trust our collaboration shall broaden and build relationships, personally and collectively, to the mutual benefit of a whole variety of charities – I could not think of a more fitting consequence as a good to come from the awful bad, of the loss of my son.
You can donate to the Christopher Angus Fund via the official Just Giving page.