Published: 22nd March 2005
The General Secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) will run in this year’s London Marathon on 17 April to raise vital funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Peter Saunders, a Hertfordshire general surgeon, will combine his training with his job at CMF, which involves raising awareness of Christian concerns on issues such as euthanasia, stem cell research, abortion and HIV/AIDS.
Peter, who attends Spicer Street Free Evangelical Church in St Albans with his family, commented: “I don’t have anyone with Down’s syndrome in my own immediate family but my wife Kirsty and I have been privileged between us to have many patients with Down’s syndrome and also several friends with Down’s syndrome children. They are a very special group of people often with very special gifts. Two babies with Down’s syndrome are born every day. Through information and support for these children and their families the Down’s Syndrome Association helps them live full and rewarding lives.
“There is no doubt that bringing up a child with special needs involves a substantial emotional and financial cost. Sadly for this reason many families when faced with a baby with Down’s syndrome nowadays opt for abortion. And yet at the very heart of the gospel is the Lord Jesus Christ who chose to lay down his life to meet our own ‘special needs’. This is why it is so important for Christians to be helping organisations like Down’s Syndrome Association who are offering better alternatives.’
Peter, 47, a keen runner in his early twenties, only took up the activity again, after a gap of 20 years, to run in last year’s London marathon, on that occasion for the children’s charity Whizz-Kidz. He says he wasn’t quite ready for it and recalls being easily overtaken by a man running in a plastic telephone box and a womble who “might have been Tobermory, but he went past too fast to see”. However, despite finding it tough he still completed the race in under four hours.
He added: “This year I am better prepared and hope to knock half an hour off my time. My aim is to raise £5,000 and so far I have already had pledges for half of that. In the process I hope also to see off competition from any more furry residents from Wimbledon Common.”
Those who would like to sponsor Peter should visit www.justgiving.com.
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668
Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.