The fatigue and worry are visible on my face after all those weeks sitting between our twins’ two incubators. Living on adrenaline in the hectic pace of the hospital. The nurse is startled when she sees me; “You really need to get out.” On advice, I go for a run again, finally a way to let all thoughts pass by. While running, space opens up in my head, and that’s how the idea arises; a run around the hospitals where our boys Lennard and Thomas used to be!
A short recap. After a complicated pregnancy, our sons are born on September 18. For a long time, we could not accept that they were going to be born prematurely. We fought with the family for every day that they could stay in the belly longer. We felt somehow that we had no control over this, but we try to resist it. One morning, the gynecologist comes to us to prepare for a cesarean section… this afternoon! Our world is collapsing. This must not happen yet. However, we do not have a choice; inside the uterus, the risks are too great and the consequences unimaginable. Ten weeks in hospital for our brave men. From the NICU in Leiden to the high-care in Alkmaar and then to the medium-care in Hoorn. November 25, we can finally take the boys home.
I started running about 15 years ago. Sometimes with long intervals in which the shoes have remained in the closet, only to get the feeling of getting fit again. Ever since I discovered ‘trail running,’ running can’t let go of me. It’s a way to clear my head and challenge myself to walk even further, longer and faster. For example, I walked across the Veluwe once in two days and made beautiful trails through the Ardennes. When I started running again during the hospital period, I immediately felt like making new challenges. Still, unfortunately, there was a bummer – Corona. Nothing had been organized. Coincidentally, I saw a message from the Leiden marathon. That would be special! A marathon in the city where our sons were born.
My wife also added slowly, “You can also walk to Leiden.” And so, an idea was born to do a sponsored run in which I would connect the hospitals (Hoorn, Alkmaar, Leiden) where Lennard and Thomas were located while running. Finally, I will run the Leiden marathon. Altogether about 150 km in 3 days (8-10 October). The donations from this sponsored walk go to the TAPS Support Foundation. The money raised will be used directly to fund research within the LUMC into fetal syndromes and their treatment. We are very grateful to the LUMC for the expertise and good care we have received. That is why it feels extraordinary and honorable to contribute to their work in this way.
The journey will be a symbolic but also an emotional journey for us. The route is on partly paved and partly unpaved terrain. The route can be found on the website www.twinrun.nl, and both the preparation and the tour itself can be followed on social media. People can also sign up to walk a bit. And of course, anyone can donate with any amount.