Teen takes on a marathon of fundraising activities

Last updated: Thursday, 30 March 2023

Children's models

A teenage boy has completed a marathon of fundraising activities to raise money for the specialist children’s hospital that has treated him since he was five-years-old.

Sam Short, 13, from Fulham in west London, was born with achondroplasia – a form of dwarfism – and has been under the care of Evelina London Children’s Hospital, part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, for over 8 years.

Achondroplasia is a condition caused by a gene mutation which means that bones don’t grow properly. It can lead to other health issues including sleep apnoea, chronic pain, and complications which can lead to multiple operations.

Along with his siblings and parents, Sam ran, cycled, scootered and skateboarded the distance of a marathon in one 24-hour period to raise money for Evelina London Children’s Charity.

Sam’s mum, Jenn Short, said: “We were so excited to complete our fundraising challenge for Evelina London Children’s Charity. Sam loves sports and plays on the school cricket team. He looked forward to the challenge but was also a little bit nervous, as it was a long distance to cover!

“My husband ran the whole distance and Sam, his brother Alex, sister Issy and I ran, cycled, scootered and skateboarded alongside. Sam did a great job and managed to complete the run without stopping - I’m really proud of how well he did!

“This marathon of sports was Sam’s way of giving back and saying thanks for all the care he has received, as we have come across so many different teams at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and everyone has been amazing.”

Dr Melita Irving, consultant clinical geneticist at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, said: “Sam is an inspirational teenager, and it has been a pleasure getting to know him and his family. It is great to see how well he is doing, and being able to take part in this fundraising challenge. I’d like to say a big thank you to him and his family for their mammoth efforts in raising money for Evelina London Children’s Charity.”

Since he was 6 years old, Sam has been taking part in a clinical trial at Evelina London and has been having daily injections of vosoritide, a treatment which improves the way his bones grow. This will help protect him against the health problems and day-to-day difficulties associated with his condition.

Jenn Short continued: “The trial was completely life-changing for Sam, and he can now stand straighter. While Sam has always been an extroverted, outgoing boy, it has really helped to increase his independence and confidence, and to be able to get more involved with sports, which he loves.”

Sam and his family have previously raised over £4,000 for Evelina London Children’s Charity.

Evelina London Children’s Hospital was the lead site in Europe for the clinical trial for vosoritide.

In 2018, Sam and his family met The Prince and Princess of Wales at a special event at the children’s hospital to announce Her Royal Highness as Patron of Evelina London.

You can donate to Sam’s fundraising by visiting: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sam-Short-Evelina

Contact us

Media enquiries
Phone: 020 7188 5577
Email: press@gstt.nhs.uk