Let us introduce you to December’s Fundraiser of the Month, the amazing Sean Skippen – read on to hear more about his story and why he chose to raise money for Children’s Heart Surgery Fund…

In January 2016, our daughter Matilda was born with total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR). This condition means the veins from her lungs were not attached to her heart.

At 4 days old, and having already spent the initial days of her life in York Special Baby Care Unit, Matilda was rushed to Leeds for emergency heart surgery at the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit.

“The operation was a roaring success and Matilda will celebrate her 3rd birthday in January. To meet her now, you would never know that she had such a tough and challenging start to life; she is our little warrior!”

Sean’s inspiration, Matilda

Sean continued:

From the minute we arrived at the LGI, Children’s Heart Surgery Fund were there to support us.

We were immediately offered accommodation in the Brotherton Wing so that we could stay close to Matilda during her operation and throughout her recovery. Being provided the accommodation was invaluable to us, especially for the days Matilda spent in intensive care following her operation.

Over the days that followed, a number of CHSF staff came to visit us on the ward, providing us with moral support and someone knowledgeable to talk to.

I couldn’t speak more highly of the staff at the LGI and to CHSF for the care they gave to our daughter, and for looking after us as a family at such a traumatic time.

Sean at the top!

Over the last three years, Sean has raised in excess of £5,000 for CHSF by taking part in the York 10k, York 10 mile and the Great North Run – often in fancy dress!

CHSF will always be a charity that remains hugely important to me and my family.

Each year, I try to challenge myself a bit more than the previous year, and in June I successfully completed the Jurassic Coast 100k from Weymouth to Exmouth in 24hrs. I have entered this event again in 2019 and am also looking for the next big challenge!


We asked Sean if he had any advice for future fundraisers…

When you feel like giving up…think about why you started! When all of our attention needed to be focussed on Matilda, CHSF looked after everything else that allowed us to do this – thank you!

Are you feeling inspired? If you think you could run for CHSF get in touch with Events & Sponsorship Manager Charlotte (charlotte.anderson-hughes@chsf.org.uk 0113 381 4810) to register your interest!