Tiny Hero Run 2023: ‘He even ran with us!’

A sportive challenge filled with symbolic meaning: the Tiny Hero Run was again a great success in the Netherlands this year. Families and friends across the country put on their running shoes on April 22nd to raise money for CDH research. Read below about how mother Vanity and CDH-expert Dr. Horst Daniels from Radboudumc experienced their Tiny Hero Run 2023.

Embarking on a personal challenge, together with loved ones, and doing so for a beautiful cause. April 22nd marked the day of the third edition of the Tiny Hero Run in the Netherlands. This year’s event again brought forth many touching moments, stories, and generous donations.

Vanity and Raeven’s Tiny Hero Run

Vanity will not soon forget her Tiny Hero Run. On the day of the event, her son Raeven (1) had been free of hospital stays for exactly one year, following a ‘challenging year’ full of hospital visits and surgery. And this despite his CDH initially seeming mild.

Thankfully Raeven is now doing extremely well, and that was of course cause for celebration. Vanity decided to commemorate the occasion by running a symbolic route from the Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc) in Nijmegen to their home in Elst. Together with her sister, she completed the 12.5-kilometer run. “Normally, I never run such distances, but I gladly made an exception for this.”

Two hundred meters before the finish line, they were greeted by more family members ánd by Raeven himself. Little Raeven didn’t need to be carried, he happily ran alongside his mother towards their home. ‘He saw his sister and cousins running with us, so he thought: I want to join them’, Vanity laughs.

Upon their arrival, the group was welcomed by even more family members, friends, and colleagues for a well-deserved and enjoyable barbecue. And of course, it’s also worth mentioning that Vanity and her sister raised an impressive 1865 euros with their efforts!

Dr. Horst Daniels

Another remarkable participant in the Tiny Hero Run was Dr. Horst Daniels, a surgeon specialized in CDH at Radboudumc. He planned a symbolic route with his colleagues, filled with references to their work. ‘It’s not the only day that we’re doing something for CDH, but it certainly is a special one’.

In his blog about the Tiny Hero Run, Daniels shares how his son completed 6.5 kilometers, and how his wife, daughter, and even their dog joined him for a short stretch as well. ‘Because this is about them too. Their dad is often away from home, sometimes very suddenly, when a child is really sick’.

He describes the short yet intense ‘ECMO-route’ he took, which included climbing the Duivelsberg (which literally translates into ‘Devils Mountain’) to ultimately arrive at Radboudumc. Inside the hospital, Daniels passed by the NICU, the PICU, and the ward where four patients are currently admitted. ‘Because I did it for them’, he states. Daniels followed his tour around the hospital by long journey of over 20 kilometers back home, symbolizing the difficult path that children and their parents must also traverse.

All the while Daniels saw donations coming in live on his smartwatch, which gave him that extra energy he needed to keep going. After an impressive 35-kilometer run, the total amounted to 1149 euros. ‘Now let’s hope beautiful things will come from that for CDH-children and their families’.

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