Bedford's Santa Run will honour Harry

The family of a toddler are calling on people to paint the Embankment a sea of red at Bedford's Santa Run, in his memory.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 1st December 2016, 8:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 11:29 am

Bedford’s Harry Russell died aged just three years old in the care of Keech Hospice in November last year.

The family from Castle Quarter, are now asking everyone to get their Santa suit on to raise money for the hospice.

Harry’s older sister, Ella, five, said: “I love seeing all the Santas.

“Last year, just after Harry died, me, mummy and daddy went to watch all the Santas.

“It was brilliant, I’m doing it this year to remember my little brother.”

In his short life, Harry had to cope with both physical and mental disabilities including hearing and vision loss, epilepsy, breathing problems and being fed through a tube.

His mum, Julie said Harry taught their family how to live in the moment.

“Our handsome Superhero Harry had the most beautiful soul and smile,” said Julie.

“He gave the most amazing cuddles and you’d never want to let go. Harry taught us, 
and Keech always showed us, how to make every moment count.

“We feel the Santa Run is the perfect positive event not only to remember Harry, but to raise precious funds and awareness for our local children’s hospice.

“With millions of rooftops to reach in just one night, Santa must be quick on his feet.

“But, for us, Keech’s Santa Run will quite literally be a walk in the park – running is a no no.

“We’re all looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere.

“Having lived by the river for many years, we’d take Harry for walks in his wheelchair on the exact same route so we’ll be celebrating Harry’s life and having fun with all the other Santas.”

As a charity, Keech Hospice Care relies on 70 per cent of its funding to come from idonations.

“It took us a considerable while to accept Harry’s disabilities and not feel bitter and angry,” said Harry’s Dad, Mark.

“I never thought I’d need my local children’s hospice but I don’t know where we’d be if we hadn’t.

“So, Bedford, please come and give Santa a run for his money at the sponsored run along The Embankment this Sunday.”