Bicester resident, Julia Spargo, will always be thankful to the Oxford Children’s Hospital and specialist teams at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre after they transformed her youngest daughter, Beth’s life.

To say thank you for a decade of care, Julia is gearing up to take part in our virtual Oxford Mail OX5 RUN on Sunday 28th March, and this year’s event has an extra special meaning behind it – it’s Julia’s 10th OX5 RUN.

Julia first laced-up her trainers in 2011, shortly after Beth was born, as a way to thank the hospital for the incredible care they gave Beth during the first few months of her life.

Shortly after birth, Beth was diagnosed with dislocated hips, breathing problems and a cleft palate, and immediately began receiving treatment. At the time, doctors were not sure whether she would ever walk.

However, after years of treatment and our hospitals becoming a home from home, Beth is now a healthy and energetic ten-year-old, ready to handle anything life throws at her. Julia explains: 

‘I get involved each year because as Beth gets older, she is able to do even more, things we were never sure she would be able to do and that’s thanks to the amazing teams at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre for transforming her life.’

Over the last ten years, Julia and her team ‘Beth’s Bees’ have become an intrinsic part of this community event, raising over £10,000 for the Charity and helping to create a real ‘buzz’ on the day of the event.

Although this year’s event is completely virtual, it’s not stopped Julia from signing up and thinking of ways she can celebrate her 10th run with family and friends, whilst adhering to government guidelines. 

‘Last year I went out and completed my five miles during the first lockdown and ended up getting lost in a field and had to be rescued by a local farmer! If this year is any indication, I’m sure it’s going to be a fun-filled event and capture the spirit of the OX5 virtually.’

Thanks to Julia, and her team Beth’s Bees, we have been able to fund state-of-the-art equipment, transform hospital areas, and fund toys and games for our young patients to enjoy while in hospital.

Joe Baker, from Oxford Hospital Charity, said: ‘It’s been a real joy to work with Julia and the whole team over the last six years, they embody everything that the OX5 is about and it’s brilliant to have them involved with what’s shaping up to be another great year.

‘We have the most incredible community support for this event, and this year we really need your help to continue to make a difference. If you are a member of a local community group or your workplace wants to get active do get involved. Everyone who enters gets a medal, and most of all you’ll be part of something very special.’ 

The Oxford Mail OX5 RUN is now in its 19th year and is proudly sponsored by Oxfordshire Recruitment agency, Allen Associates

Entry to this virtual event costs just £10 per person aged 16 and above and £5 per child.

Runners and walkers are asked to complete five miles close to their homes and following government guidelines when training and participating.

We are so thrilled that Julia is back for another OX5 RUN, please do join us in saying a huge thank you for sharing her story.