South Tyneside dad sets out on epic Lake District challenge to raise funds in memory of stillborn nephew

A South Tyneside dad will be pushing his mental and physical endurance to the limit as he gets set to take on two big challenges in memory of his stillborn nephew.

By Lisa Nightingale
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 4:15 pm

Andy Wallace will set off on a 49k hike, today (Saturday) as he takes part in the Lake District Challenge, and next month he will attempt to scale the UK's three highest peaks within 24 hours.

The 36-year-old will be raising money for the 4Louis charity in memory of his nephew Roman Miles Whitelaw who was stillborn on October 15, 2021 – the day before his due date.

The charity stepped in to support his brother-in-law Raymond Whitelaw and his girlfriend Clare Guthrie during what he described as one of the most "heartbreaking" moments of their life.

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Andy with coach Joe from Black Sheep Fitness Academy.

The couple had discovered their unborn baby son had died, after Clare was concerned over a lack of movement from their baby. A scan revealed no trace of a heartbeat.

Mr Wallace said: "After seeing what Raymond and Clare went through and the support the charity gave them, I wanted to give something back.

“The charity isn't government funded, but what they do is amazing and means so much to those going through such a heartbreaking time of their lives.

“The news devastated us all, and as a dad of two myself, I couldn't even begin to imagine the full extent of the pain of knowing that the baby you were bringing into the world had already died.

Andy with coach Joe from Black Sheep Fitness Academy.

“The two challenges are going to be tough, and it will never make the pain of losing Roman easier, but if it helps the charity that gave so much support to Raymond and Clare then it will go some way to say thank you"

4Louis works across the country to support anyone affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby or child, through the use of memory boxes, photography equipment, cuddle cots to allow families to spend time with their baby as well as providing training for healthcare providers.

The Lake District Challenge will see him take on a 49k course, climbing a total of 1,300 feet as he makes his way from Kendal to Lakeside in Windermere. He is aiming to complete the challenge within 10 hours.

Next month, he will join a group of people who will take on the three peak challenge - climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Snowdon in Wales within 24 hours.

Andy ready for his challenges.

In preparation for the gruelling challenges, the dad from Hebburn, stepped up his training in the gym and took part in a number of PT sessions to help him get ready for the feats ahead.

He added: “The training has been tough and has really pushed me to my limit. I can't thank the coaches and members at Black Sheep Fitness Academy enough for their support and for keep pushing me during my training. It hasn't been easy but it's no where near the pain Raymond and Clare, and other families supported by 4Louis have gone through.”

Mr Wallace, has already raised £765, thanks to a donation from Instinctive Flooring, who through a chance conversation as they carried out work on his property, wanted to show their support.

For more information on 4Louis visit 4louis.co.uk

To make a donation to Andy, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-wallace33