THE family of a young boy who has relied on Oxford Children’s Hospital for the past seven years have pledged their support to the OX5 Run.

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

The family, from Witney, have regularly visited the hospital over the years and, now aged 12, Reece receives ongoing treatment for autoimmune liver disease and was diagnosed with epilepsy in November.

His dad Luke Winstone, who works for a mental health charity, has committed to the race and his Team Reece is one of the top fundraising teams so far.

He said: “In November he had an epileptic seizure and we went up to the hospital and the staff were so supportive - they let us both stay.

“They gave me first aid training for what to do in a emergency if he has an epileptic seizure, I haven’t had to use it but I feel so much better for having it.”

The 33-year-old also praised the hospital staff for their ongoing support for Reece and the family over the years.

He said: “He’s going to blood tests on his own - he’s a little soldier - I can’t go in with him or I’ll pass out.

“He wasn’t always that way but they would give us three members of staff - two of them play specialists to distract him - and now he’s fine.

“I really wanted to give something back to the staff and that’s why I’m doing the run.”

Mum Amanda said she was also considering running as the family were keen to give something back to the staff.

She said: “The staff are very supportive of Reece and the whole family - obviously it’s a really hard time when you’re in hospital and they recognise that and when you need extra support.

“They are giving you news that is quite upsetting - like when we heard about his epilepsy but they explain everything really well.

She added: “He’s not in hospital at the moment and hopefully won’t have another stay for another few years but he has regular blood tests and appointments.”

Money from this year’s event – at Blenheim Palace on March 25 – will continue to support the building of a new 62-bedroom on-site parental accommodation block, supported by last year’s run and the hospital’s 10th anniversary appeal.

Last year’s record-breaking event raised £126,000 – bringing the OX5 Run, sponsored by Allen Associates for the 10th year running, to just £24,000 shy of £1million raised since its 2003 launch.

Funds donated last year also went towards a micro-biology scanner that can detect different types of meningitis in just a few hours – an improvement on the current process which takes 72 hours – as well as toys, games and play specialists on the wards.

Joe Baker, from the Oxford Children’s Hospital charity, said: “What makes this run even more special is that many of those who have signed up are parents, friends and families of our young patients who have been inspired by the care their children have received.

To sign up to take part or for further details visit