Why I Run: Deb and Gerred Sherwood
Deb and her son Gerred cherish the time they spend running around together – getting active and supporting a cause close to their family's hearts.
Deborah was pregnant the last time she entered a fun run. She competed in the Mother’s Day Classic, while her young son Gerred cheered her on from the sidelines.
“It’s a good example for him to see us being active,” she says. “He’d clap for me when I was done, and come and give me a big cuddle.”
Now, Gerred is ready to join Deb in his first race. And this time, the Sherwood family has another motivation to run.
Just two weeks after Gerred’s little brother Declan was born, the family’s blissful new-baby state was interrupted by fear. Declan stopped breathing.
He was rushed to Westmead Children’s Hospital, where he remained in care for several weeks.
“From the moment we went in, I remember very vividly that the nurse knew exactly what was going on. She calmly took me in, and kept me calm too,” Deb says.
"I’ve been telling Gerred that we’re allowed to walk. But he’s telling me we’re going to run the whole way. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with him!”
“The emergency staff were so good with me, keeping me up to date as I cared for Gerred. They understood what I was going through as a mother.
“Then, on the ward, I made friendships with a lot of the nurses. We’d gossip for hours. The night nurses would keep me company when I was feeding Declan. They were so supportive.”
That’s why for Gerred’s first ever race in the Medibank Family Run, he wanted to raise money for the hospital that saved his little brother.
“He’s really proud,” Deb says. “He’s still trying to wrap his head around how raising money works, but he knows we’ve been doing really well. I was so surprised at how supportive people have been.”
The time Deb spends outdoors with Gerred is extremely precious to her. The pair often go walking in Cumberland State Forest together. “He loves the outdoors,” she says. “He’s just so happy to be out there.
“It’s so exciting to have the opportunity to run across the Harbour Bridge. It’s not something you get to do every day. I’ve been telling Gerred that we’re allowed to walk. But he’s telling me we’re going to run the whole way. I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up with him!”