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Carl's 17 challenges in memory of Evie

Carl's 17 challenges in memory of Evie

Published at 11:50am 27th June 2017. (Updated at 9:20pm 27th June 2017)

A Knaresborough man is marking his 50th birthday by tackling a series of sporting challenges for charity.

Carl Sugden, Headteacher at King James's School, will complete 500 miles of competitive cycling, 22 miles of open water swimming and 65 miles of running in 17 events throughout the year.

He is raising money for Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People, as well as Save Babies UK.

Carl and his wife Claire's daughter Evie was born in 2001 with Krabbe disease, a progressive genetic disorder which affects the central nervous system, and she died shortly before her first birthday.

They were supported by Martin House, which cares for children and young people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across North, West and East Yorkshire, both at its Boston Spa hospice and in the community.

Carl said: "Evie would have been 16 this year, and obviously we remain grateful for the care she received at Martin House, so this is a chance to give something back.

"As I'm turning 50, and I'm not one for having parties or moping around about it, I came up with idea of doing 17 challenges in 2017."

The challenges include six triathlons, a coast-to-coast cycle ride, open water swimming events and cross-country runs.

Carl will also be joined by his 12-year-old son Theo for a climb in the Scottish Highlands in August.

He said: "There are 282 Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet, called Munros, and it's considered a lifetime challenge to climb them.

"I've climbed 281, but I've been saving the last one so I could do it with my son when he was old enough. So my last Munro will be his first."

All of the money raised will be split equally between Martin House and Save Babies UK, a charity which was set up by Carl's mother-in-law after Evie's death, to support families affected by Krabbe disease and raise awareness of screening for genetic conditions.

Carl said: "Martin House helped Evie's end-of-life-care, Save Babies UK was founded to get better genetic screening before birth.

"There was a one in four chance of our other children, Theo and Ella, who's 14, having the same condition. Thankfully they are healthy, happy children, but that's why I'm doing it."

You can follow Carl's progress at www.challenge17.wordpress.com