A Newcastle father is doing a month-long walk later this year in memory of his baby son who would have been celebrating his first birthday today.
Chris Gibbs will set off from his home town in Eastbourne in June and finish at the main entrance of the Royal Stoke University Hospital where his son Thiago was born in.
His son Thiago Frederick Leite Gibbs came into the world on 4 February 2019 and left it on 28 November.
In that time Chris said: "He brought joy, love, pleasure and astounded friends, family and medics alike with his incredibly positive attitude to life. We often speak about children being a ray of sunshine. Well my boy really was… and then some.
"Sadly, Thiago was born with complications with his heart and though both University Hospital Stoke and Birmingham Children’s Hospital did everything they could for him in his short life, it wasn’t to be. He died peacefully in the arms of my wife and I on his own terms having achieved more in his ten months than many others do in a far longer lifetime.
"While Thiago was in my life - and spiritually he will always be there - he taught me a valuable lesson, one that I am finally going to heed. And that was to focus on the positive, be glass half full rather than glass half empty and do something about the things in life that you can control if it will make life better.
"So in June, I will be setting off from Eastbourne in Sussex and ending in Stoke-on-Trent.
"All in all, it’s 282 miles probably more like 300+ taking into account all the wrong turns I'll probably make! I’m still in the process of finalising the route with a friend – the indefatigable Jamie Hickey, who has been such an incredible rock to me in my grieving process is helping me with that – but roughly it will take in some of the Sussex Downs from the south coast to London, the Birmingham to London canal path before meeting friends from Birmingham Children’s Hospital for the final northbound section.
"I’ll be doing this both to remember the son that I’ll never get to see grow up and marry and also to raise as much as I physically can for two wonderful hospital charities, which cared for him with such extraordinary levels of compassion."
Chris has set up a fund raising page: http://virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisGibbs9