Guiseley Teacher Runs for Nephew’s Life

21 March 2016
Guiseley teacher Julia Llewellyn is running a staggering 106km to do ‘something’ to help her brave baby nephew, Dylan.

On Apr 30 Julia will be running the Isle of Wight ultra-marathon’ The Challenge’, the equivalent to two and a half marathons, for two-year-old nephew, Dylan Llewellyn-Richards. Having suffered severe reflux as a baby, Dylan had to be tube-fed, and after a series of complications, has undergone numerous operations and frequent lengthy stays at Leeds General Infirmary.

Dylan’s condition has deteriorated in the last year meaning that his tummy and bowel no longer work and he is dependent on Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN), a method where he is fed intravenously via his main vein into the top of his heart.  The risks of being fed in this way are huge and can include liver failure and life threatening infections. Dylan has spent the last three weeks in hospital, battling septicaemia.
Mum, Nikki Llewellyn-Richards, explains:

“Dylan’s condition has had a profound effect on the whole family and the last two years have been an emotional rollercoaster for us. Our main focus is to give Dylan the support he needs. Days can be unpredictable, putting a strain on everyone – especially older brother, Caden – as we are forced to juggle Dylan’s complex medical needs. Although Dylan’s life is severely restricted by his condition, his determination and spirit have helped him overcome many obstacles.”

Julia is taking on this mammoth challenge to raise awareness of Dylan’s condition as well as raising funds for Martin House Children’s Hospice, who provide care and support for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their families.

Julia said: “I’m certainly not an athlete, I’m doing this for all the other brave children like Dylan that suffer from intestinal failure and similar conditions. Eating and drinking is something that we all take for granted, and it’s difficult for people to imagine the impact of not being able to do something which is a perfectly normal part of life. The future is uncertain for Dylan at the moment, however all of us remain hopeful that there is something better around the corner. We are so grateful to the team at Martins House Hospice for the care and support they provide.”