WHEN Tiverton dad Richard Uffendell hits the dreaded ‘wall’ at next month’s London Marathon, he won’t need any more motivation to fight his way through the pain barrier.

He will be taking to the streets of the capital on Sunday, April 13, to raise money for special care baby charity Bliss – a charity that has provided him and his wife Mandy with endless support over the years.

The couple’s three daughters, Isla, Bo and Aoife, were all born prematurely – and Bliss was on hand to care for and support them through a difficult time.

Richard said: “I am truly blessed to have three amazing girls, all born prematurely but all doing exceptionally well. I want to help other families going through things similar to what we did.

“Isla contracted meningitis twice while in hospital – the second time we were told to say goodbye to her – but she fought back and you would never tell the tough start to life she or her sisters had.

“The support from Bliss and the neo-natal staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital was amazing. The work they did and my girls are my inspiration to raise money to try and help other families who have premature babies.”

Bliss events officer Amy Rodwell said: “The Virgin Money London Marathon is always a special event and we’re delighted to have Richard taking part with us this year.

“We want to say a huge thank you to him – he will be helping us continue to support families who are going through what is one of the most difficult times imaginable, having a baby who is seriously ill.”

As well as the London Marathon, Richard is running six half-marathons this year, all to raise money for Bliss.

For more information about Richard’s story, or to donate to his fundraising efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/|richarduffendellrunningchallenge2013 Bliss, the special care baby charity, is dedicated to ensuring that all babies born too soon, too small or too sick in the UK have the best chance of survival and of reaching their full potential.