TWO brothers will be lacing up their trainers to take on the London Marathon in memory of a little girl who was born seriously ill. 

Colchester resident Ian Picken and his brother Paul are aiming to raise funds in memory of Ian’s daughter Seren.

At seven weeks old, Seren became seriously ill with a rare genetic mitochondrial disorder, suffering from seizures and sleep apnoea while also struggling to keep her feeds down.

Needing specialist treatment, she was transferred from Colchester to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where she was intubated, put on life support and admitted to the intensive care unit. 

Sadly, Seren passed away days later.

During her time at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Ian and his wife, Katie, were supported by The Sick Children’s Trust and its ‘Home from Home’, Acorn House.

Grateful for the charity's support, the family organised a fundraising walk which more than 100 people attended.

Meanwhile, Ian and Paul completed a cycle from Wales to Essex with their friends and family raising more than £35,000 for the charity.

Gazette: Active - Ian while trainingActive - Ian while training (Image: Submitted)

Ian said: “Being told we had a place to stay at Acorn House gave us the biggest amount of relief.

"At the time we had no idea how long Seren was going to be in hospital, so to have somewhere that was a warm, safe space in a non-clinical environment was such a huge support.

"To have somewhere we could look after ourselves, get some rest, make some food and then come back stronger for Seren was really important."

He added: “While we’ve done physical challenges before this is the first long distance run Paul and I have ever done.

"Neither of us would say we’re runners but we wanted to challenge ourselves and encourage further fundraising for this brilliant charity.

"It’s fantastic having Paul doing the marathon with me. We’ve been supporting each other throughout our training which has kept us motivated and I’m really looking forward to the big day.

“Having our friends and family come down on the day and knowing why we’re running we’ll keep pushing us on to each milestone until we complete the marathon.”

Gazette: Support - Paul will be taking on the London Marathon alongside his brother IanSupport - Paul will be taking on the London Marathon alongside his brother Ian (Image: Submitted)

Paul has supported Ian’s previous fundraisers, a trend he was keen to continue after Ian signed up to do the London Marathon. 

He said: “The support The Sick Children’s Trust gives to families of seriously ill children is invaluable and I saw that first hand with Ian and Acorn House.

"I’m willing to do anything I can to help this charity to continue supporting families and I’ll always fundraise to thank them for helping our family.” 

Ian and Paul will join the 12 other runners taking on the London Marathon to fundraise for The Sick Children’s Trust’s and its ten ‘Homes from Home’, which support families from across the country while their children are seriously ill in hospital.

More information about Ian’s fundraising can be found on his JustGiving page here while Paul's page can be found here.

For further information about The Sick Children’s Trust, visit