Gavin's marathon mission to improve lives of newborns

Monday 25 March 2013

Gavin Tiffin outside the Evelina

One of our hospitality managers, Gavin Tiffin, is taking on his biggest challenge yet, cycling from London to Paris and running 4 marathons across Europe to raise money for specialist equipment. The state-of-the-art tandem mass spectrometer will help to diagnose a range of inherited diseases in children and babies in the Evelina Children’s Hospital at St Thomas’ Hospital.

Gavin, 32, from Surrey Quays, will be undertaking a gruelling schedule: cycling more than 280 miles from London to Paris between 1 - 4 April before pounding the streets in four marathons; Paris (7 April), Vienna (14 April), London (21 April) and Madrid (28 April).

Gavin’s Herculean efforts will be supported by together we can... the fundraising team that raises money for Guy’s and St Thomas’. Hoping to raise £2,000, Gavin’s blood, sweat and tears will go towards funding a tandem mass spectrometer that allows experts to accurately measure molecules in the blood in one single test and to detect specific disorders in newborns such as Phenylketonuria (PKU).  

People with phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot break down amino acids in foods. Using this new piece of equipment will help early treatment and save some babies from developing severe disabilities.

Dr Grenville Fox, director of children’s services at the Evelina Children’s Hospital says: “This is a magnificent effort by Gavin to raise money for a vital piece of equipment that will help us to detect inherited diseases in babies and children quickly and accurately at a very early stage.

“This machine has great potential to help our younger patients enjoy longer and healthier lives.”

Gavin has run 33 marathons and half marathons since 2001, his fastest time being three hours, 41 minutes and 59 seconds. He says: “Training is the hardest part of long distance running. Getting up on a Sunday morning at 6am or running in the cold and wet conditions is no fun.

“But I always focus on why I’m doing it. If this new machine makes a difference to one young person’s life it has to be worth it.”

When Gavin isn’t training, he manages a team who deliver more than 2,000 conferences, corporate and social events at Guy’s and St Thomas’ each year.

To follow Gavin’s progress or to make a donation visit:

Last updated: March 2013

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