THE KLAXON has sounded and it's time to get in training and sign up to the Oxford Mail OX5 Run to support Oxford Children's Hospital.

Online registration is now open and you can now commit be part of the 'magic million' as the annual favourite returns for its 16th year.


More than 1,000 fundraisers from across the county, from families to businesses, will join the run at Blenheim Palace on Sunday, March 25, with the million pound fundraising mark firmly in sight.

Sarah Vaccari from Oxford Children’s Hospital Charity said: "The Oxford Mail OX5 Run has become a real local institution and is hugely important for the Children’s Hospital.

"It’s amazing how the event has gone from strength to strength and we are now on the cusp of raising one million pounds.

"We really hope that people across Oxfordshire will be inspired by our incredible patients and sign up for this very special event.

"You can run or walk the five miles, take part on your own or create a team of friends, family or colleagues.

"We are so grateful to all those who get involved and also the Oxford Mail for organising it all and sponsors, Allen Associates.

"Our last run broke all our records for fundraising - and with your help we can do it again. So please sign up today."

Oxford Mail: The OX5 Run 2017 at  Blenheim Palace ..Picture by Richard Cave26.03.17.

Last year's record-breaking event raised £126,000 - bringing the OX5 Run, sponsored by Allen Associates for the tenth year running, to just £24,000 shy of £1 million in fundraising since its launch in 2003.

All the money from the 2017 OX5 run went towards the Oxford Children's Hospital 10th Anniversary Appeal, which includes supporting the build of a new 62 bedroom on-site parental accommodation for parents to stay close to their poorly children.

Money has also gone towards a micro-biology scanner that can detect different type of meningitis in just several hours – an improvement on the current process which takes 72 hours.

You can sign up by going to

Click ‘register here’ and you will have to fill in the entry form with all your details.

You can then create a team to run with friends and colleagues, join an existing team or run as an individual.

It costs £17.50 to enter before February 25 – with proceeds going to the charity – and it is suggested each team member aims to raise at least £200.

Where does your money go?

We went along to the Oxford Children's Hospital to meet some of the poorly children and their parents who rely on the great work of staff.

Sonny and Harrison Styles

Oxford Mail: Sonny and Harrison Styles who are currently undergoing treatment for Cystic Fibrosis at Oxford Children's Hospital. picture by Ian Taylor Photography

TWIN three-year-old brothers Sonny and Harrison Styles have been in and out of Oxford Children's Hospital this year after being diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis in October.

The identical pair, from Upper Heyford near Bicester, have been in at least four times treatment this year, each time for two weeks, for the rare genetic lung condition which means they often become breathless, cough a lot and frequently get chest infections.

Thanks to the facilities at Oxford Children's Hospital, parents Jenna and John Styles have been able to stay with the twins each time they are admitted.

Mrs Styles said: "Staff have been amazing at the children's hospital, from the doctors, nurses and physiotherapists to the domestic staff as well, from the cleaners to caterers.

"Everyone always has a smile on their face and it makes such a difference.

"Staff such as the play therapists have been outstanding, supporting the boys when they have had to have blood tests which can obviously be quite traumatising for them."

Mrs Styles added: "Also, parent resources like Ronald McDonald house is amazing, a comfortable place to go away for five essential minutes but a stones throw away at the same time.

"I know not all hospitals have this kind of support, we are just really lucky and our family is so thankful we do."

Noah Castro

Oxford Mail: Oxford Children's Hospital patient eight-year-old Noah Castro..Pic by Jon Lewis

EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Noah has recently started treatment on Kamran's Ward at the children's hospital after being diagnosed with a type of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

After a short spell at the hospital in October, Noah has now been placed on a six to eight month course of chemotherapy given once or twice a week.

But mum Bryony Potter, from Witney, said he has settled in to it all thanks to the support from hospital staff.

She said: "I don't know how they do it, everyone is always so positive and all the staff have been so good with Noah.

"He is quite a nervous child until he gets to know someone and they have really helped him come out of himself - he loves going to the hospital school.

"It is just so reassuring to know he is happy and knowing he is able to go off to school when he is there whilst getting the treatment he needs.

"Anything you need help with they're there."

Anna Drysdale

Oxford Mail: Anna Drysdale, 6, who is being treated at Oxford Children's Hospital after being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in February

THE DRYSDALE family from Chipping Norton have been staying at the hospital on and off throughout the year after six-year-old Anna was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in February.

A minor fall late last year left the youngster with a strange feeling in her arm which after several tests revealed the whole of her upper arm had a tumour - which doctors said could've been there for up to two years.

Mum Keeley Drysdale, 44, said: "From that first terrifying moment when we were first told of Anna's diagnosis, it was the scariest day of our lives.

"Walking into the ward and seeing all the children who had lost their hair, I wanted to pick her up, turn around and run as fast as I could.

"But every single person there supported us and they were incredible.

"They made our year and almost made it fun for Anna through some really tough and challenging treatment.

"We couldn't have asked for better."

The parents had been splitting their time with Anna staying overnight about four or five times a week at hospital whilst she has chemotherapy.

The youngster has just finished her course of treatment and will head back in January for more tests and to continue physiotherapy.

Following that the Drysdale family including Anna's sisters Ellen, 11, and Sarah, 16, have roped in friends to sign up with them for the OX5 Run 2018.

Mrs Drysdale added: "It's our way to give something back, how else could we ever say thank you."

Reece Winstone

Oxford Mail: Oxford Children's Hospital patient twelve-year-old Reece Winstone..Pic by Jon Lewis

REECE Winstone was diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder at just age five when his parents noticed he wasn't reaching certain milestones.

Now the youngster, from Witney, is 12-years-old and has on-going treatment at the hospital having also been diagnosed with autoimmune liver disease and recently epilepsy.

Mum of three Amanda Winstone said: "Obviously its been a scary and nerve-wrecking time for all of us but the hospital staff have been amazing.

"Plus the opportunities children get whilst they are there are great, for example they still get to do some education whilst they're in."

Parents Amanda, 32, and Luke Winstone, 33, - who also have son Jayden and daughter Eryn - said they are in and out of the hospital a lot with Reece, who is also getting treatment twice a week in Birmingham.

They said they take it in turns to stay with him during his overnight stays at Oxford Children's Hospital.

Mrs Winstone said: "Reece also has learning difficulties so it wouldn't be possible to leave him without me or my husband.

"So having a bed right there next to his is amazing."

Sophie Fraemohs

Oxford Mail: Sophie Fraemohs who was treated at Oxford Children's Hospital after suffering bowel issues for five years

EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Sophie Fraemohs, had a 10-day stint at Oxford Children's Hospital back in September after five years of chronic bowel issues.

Mum Kelly Fraemohs said the youngster, from Freeland near Witney, enjoyed her time so much in hospital that she didn't want to come home.

Mrs Fraemohs said: "Sophie had been suffering for five years and after appointments with the clinic nothing had improved so doctors said she needed to be admitted.

"She was in Oxford children's Hospital for 10 days and she loved it.

"I was just so relieved she was going to get sorted and the hospital was amazing.

"There was always someone to help, even if they weren't looking after Sophie they were their to help."

Mrs Fraemohs and her husband Jamie, have been able to stay with Sophie taking it in turns at the hospital whilst one looks after their other children Brooke and Harper.

She said: "It does take the pressure off knowing they are there at such a hard time - talking you through it and not just being there for the children but parents too."