Dad’s marathon run for Contact after twins’ premature birth and hemiplegia diagnosis

3 mins read

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Tags: fundraising, London Marathon, HemiHelp

Dad of twin boys, Graeme Longstaff, originally planned to complete the London Marathon next weekend running with an incubator (aka the ‘runcubator’) – until he discovered that the event’s rules didn’t allow it.

Undeterred , he changed his plans to complete the 26.2-mile distance running between the 3 hospitals where his twin boys Ted and Bert were born 9 weeks early. They spent their first few months of their lives in hospital until they were strong enough to come home.

It wasn’t until Ted was two years old that he was diagnosed with hemiplegia which affects his right arm and leg.

Graeme said: “I’ll be doing my run on behalf of two charities: Contact and Bliss, who support families with premature or sick babies. We were told very early on that the boys many have some issues in the coming years being as they were born so early. Because of this, the first few years of their life was spent going to appointments to consultants , physiotherapy, scans etc. Contact and Bliss are two great charities who help people when they have no clue what is happening and are always there to offer help, guidance and support. To us they have been invaluable and I’m sure that’s the case for many others out there.”

Ted and Bert are now energetic 7 years olds.

Graeme continues: “Today, Ted is a super-happy little dude. He might not be able to climb trees and ride bikes like his twin brother, but he’s a bright kid with a positive outlook and huge passion for football which he plays every Saturday morning.  There’s been many up and downs, head bumps by the dozen along the way as well as lots of trips for various leg splints to be made and trialled to help Ted from tripping over himself. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all the help and support from HemiHelp and their online community. From funding support to day trips to just being there to listen when no-one else will, they have been such a big part of our family and will remain so.”

Help raise vital funds for Contact and Bliss

You can donate to support Graeme’s marathon distance run to raise vital funds for Contact and Bliss at

If you would like to join Team Contact and run the London Marathon for us in 2023, get in touch today – email We have places and would be there to support you in your fundraising journey from the word go!

Find out about other ways to fundraise for Contact.

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