Matt Dunn leads fundraising run to The Oval in memory of two-year-old daughter

The Surrey seamer was raising money for sufferers of Dravet Syndrome, the illness that tragically took the life of Florence, in March. The running team arrived at lunch on day one of Surrey's meeting with Middlesex


The sun shone on Matt Dunn and his intrepid team of 30 as they ran from one of the capital's great cathedrals of cricket, Lord's, to the other, the Kia Oval.

The Surrey seamer was raising money for sufferers of Dravet Syndrome, the illness that tragically took the life of his two-year-old daughter, Florence, in March.

The venues were apposite, as Surrey were hosting Middlesex at the latter in the County Championship. It is being played in her memory, and the players wore T-shirts bearing her image to warm up in on the first day.

The running team arrived at lunch, after a journey that took them down Baker Street, to Victoria, and through Hyde Park. The BBC's Mark Church was in the team, and said: "Florence's loss is so sad but the team including families of sufferers were very brave. It felt appropriate that the sun came out to help us on our way."


Dunn and his wife are part of a wider setup of 280 people running 5km every day in the month of May for the charity.

"I've run a couple of them pretty hard and it's left the legs sore," said Dunn. "People can also walk and kayak. It raises awareness for this rare condition."

Dravet Syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy characterised by frequent, prolonged seizures often triggered by high body temperature (hyperthermia), developmental delay, speech impairment, ataxia, hypotonia, sleep disturbances, and other health problems. It affects around one in every 15,000 people in the UK.

"We want to shine a spotlight on the daily struggles that sufferers and their families endure," said Dunn. "Even with epilepsy in general, it is often misperceived. It is such an isolated illness. You don't see it in day-to-day life. So we want to support families going through it.

"The charity sends hospital-grade equipment that tests oxygen levels and heart-rates, which is reassuring, especially in the night, which is the hardest thing, when seizures occur then.

"The equipment really helped us when Florence turned two. Up until then it had been a rocky road. New medication also transformed our lives, terminating her seizures earlier than before. We managed to go out and it gave us a life. She had more energy, and was able to do so much more. This charity gives parents a few more tools to keep children safer and have better quality of lives."

Alas the weather took a turn for the worse at lunch, with Middlesex enjoying a good morning. Surrey picked five seamers, won the toss, and put the visitors in. Kemar Roach struck early, uprooting Mark Stoneman's off peg. Sam Robson played patiently and watchfully, however, to reach 49 not out. Pieter Malan also gave him good support (37 not out). Surrey’s seamers did not maintain enough pressure, although Sean Abbott and Gus Atkinson were tidy. 

To donate to the Dunn family's appeal, click here (link will not work on The Cricketer App)



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