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Charlie Gard case inspires Great Ormond Street charity workers to help fund pioneering research

A £1million target has been set for the upcoming GOSH children's charity race

The Charlie Gard case has moved Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) charity workers who are "more determined" than ever to help raise money towards pioneering research.

The story of the 11-month-old baby boy from Bedfont who died on July 28 caught global attention, after his doting parents lost a legal battle against the hospital over experimental treatment in the US.

A senior manager at GOSH Children's Charity has spoken out saying the case has inspired its workforce to drum up as much funds as possible, with a £1million target set.

Speaking at a launch event for the RBC Race for the Kids 5km fun run, Jacqui Segal, deputy director of corporate partnerships at GOSH Children's Charity, said the organisation wanted to raise money to improve patients' lives.

She said: "I think everyone felt really saddened by the Charlie Gard case and I think it just made us even more determined to do everything we can for our patients.

"We are hoping to raise, for the first time, £1million with this race, which would be a phenomenal amount in terms of us trying to fund pioneering research and help make patients' lives just that bit more bearable at the hospital."

Asked if the publicity around the case had affected the charity's work, she said: "At present, we have not noticed any impact in terms of the effect on the actual race itself."

Charlie's parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, praised GOSH staff during their lengthy legal battle earlier this year.

Charlie suffered from a rare inherited disease - infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).

Doctors caring for him at GOSH said life support treatment should end, while his parents wanted to take him for treatment in New York.

A High Court judge ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity before Charlie's parents failed in a series of attempts to overturn the decision.

Gabby Logan with participating children during a training day for the annual 5K, in Hyde Park(Image: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity/PA Wire)

Television presenter Gabby Logan was among those on hand to help some of the hospital's patients take part in a training day for the charity event on Tuesday (August 29).

She met 14-year-old Dylan Kelsall, diagnosed with Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy which left him with a curved spine, meaning he is unable to walk.

The powerchair footballer, from Stoke-on-Trent, who has had 14 operations said he wanted to take part to repay GOSH for his treatment.

He said: "They've given me a lot so whatever I can give back, I give back."

Among the other children were eight-year-old Noah and Phoebe, and their siblings, who led a range of fun-filled exercises to celebrate the announcement of a new date and a new venue – London’s iconic Hyde Park – on Saturday October 7.

Logan said: "GOSH is a fantastic children's charity - it has amazing people who work so hard, tirelessly, to help in prevention, in treatment, in care.

"There's such a wide range of people who work with the charity.

"The fact that Dylan thinks doing it is giving something back is great - so many people there want to help raise awareness, raise money for what it is a fantastic place and a fantastic cause."

An estimated 8,000 people from all walks of life are expected to take part in the charity's Race for the Kids in Hyde Park.

Gabby Logan with participating children during a training day for the annual GOSH Children's Charity Race for the Kids 5K(Image: Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity/PA Wire)

You can choose to run, walk, scoot, wheel or jog around the 5km course, followed by enjoying post-race activities and entertainment.

For an eighth year running the event will be supported by Royal Bank of Canada.

To take part in the Race for the Kids sign up at GOSH and keep fit and healthy over the autumn.

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