I am retraining to become a physiotherapist and currently doing my final year of studies. It's been enlightening as I have worked with children in rehab. The majority have medical conditions that need support to keep them comfortable and mobile.

Since working with these resilient children, I have had a strong desire to test myself as I see what they strive to do and the strength and determination it takes. I finally decided to commit to a challenge after a family trauma.

Our family was graced with our second nephew, Ruben. We were so excited to meet him, but we didn't want to intrude, as we all know mum needs her rest, and the family needs to settle into their new routine.

However, our opportunity to meet Ruben was shattered when he was rushed to the hospital at 3 ½ weeks old, suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy. His prognosis was, at best, months in the hospital, worst, he wouldn't make it.

This was when life didn't make sense anymore. How could a healthy baby now be in a critical condition, with something that I only knew happened to older adults? You cannot fathom this situation for any family, let alone your family!

Luckily Ruben survived and showed everyone how strong he was, as he was out of the hospital in 10 days. As you can imagine, once Ruben was home, there was nervousness about people being around him.

As doctors didn't know why he suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, they suspected it was due to a viral infection that attacked his heart. Everyone was on high alert and was nervous about seeing him, as they didn't want any reason for him to be back in the hospital.

We decided to keep our distance and used Facetime instead to meet Ruben. This felt sensible; however, if we had known what would happen on New Year's Eve, we may have approached this differently, as we never got to meet Ruben.

On New Year's Eve, Ruben was rushed to the hospital, only to discover that he had caught Covid-19, causing his heart to fail. He went into cardiac arrest at the hospital but fought to come back with the help of the doctors. They managed to get him to intensive care for the third time in his short life (he was three months old at this stage).

The doctors only had one option to give him a chance of survival: ECMO. He was on the machine for 11 long days, with everyone willing him to pull through, but his heart had suffered too much damage from the three cardiac arrests. So, his parents had to decide when they would say bye to their son.

My call to action was after this experience. To be part of Ruben's legacy and see the good that can come from such a traumatic experience was something I needed to support. So, I have chosen to run to help those that need it the most.

Families that do not yet know what is around the corner might benefit from this research. I want to help support others by challenging myself. I wouldn't say I like running. I have found every kilometer a horrible experience, and I know completing the Royal Parks Half Marathon race will be a big challenge. I gladly welcome any support, big or small, to help me make a difference. Thank you.

You can help Kylie’s fundraising for research into dilated cardiomyopathy in infants by donating on her fundraising page. All the money raised will go towards Ruben’s Fund.

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