Sunderland dad takes on 295-mile cycle AND Great North Run in daughter's honour

A Sunderland dad whose daughter was born with two rare neurological conditions is raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital by taking on the Great North Run AND a 295-mile cycle in the same week.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 4:55 am
Amelia Cooper and her daughter Savannah.

Robert Dagg, from Fulwell is taking on the challenge for his daughter Savannah, who was born with two rare neurological conditions, Schizencephaly and Lissencephaly, in February 2020.

The conditions mean that Savannah, who is now 18 months old, is missing part of her brain which is responsible for cognitive thinking as well as controlling the right side of the body.

She is also missing some of the grooves in the brain that increase surface area, ensuring the brain works to its full capability.

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A big beautiful smile from Savannah Dagg.

Despite the conditions being potentially life-limiting and affecting her development, Savannah has been able to hit her milestones and make everyone proud with how well she’s doing.

Robert, 32, and his partner Amelia Cooper, have been supported by Great Ormond Street Hospital all the way through their 18-month journey.

Amelia, Savannah’s mum, said: “Due to the nature of Savannah’s condition, we are constantly in limbo not knowing what could happen. The work Great Ormond Street does is priceless.

Robert Dagg pictured with his daughter Savannah.

"They were able to lift some of the weight off our shoulders. When we first got Savannah's diagnosis we felt completely helpless and they enabled us to have a line of care for our child that was vital.

“We really want to raise as much money for them as possible because they have such a big impact on the care they can give to children like Savannah.”

Savannah was born a twin with her sister Harper, who is not affected by the same issues.

Because of this, it is believed that Savannah may have suffered a fetal stroke, which led to her conditions.

The three-day cycle starts on Monday, September 6. Rob will be setting off from where he now lives in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, to cycle up to his home city of Sunderland.

He will then complete the Great North Run on Sunday, September 12.

Rob, who works as a site engineering manager, is ready and raring to go with his mammoth challenge.

Amelia added: “Rob is really excited for the challenge. There’s definitely nerves there but he’s been preparing a lot for it and cycles regularly.”

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