On the 9th March 2013 I became the proud father of Niamh Alice Snook, my first child.  From the moment she was born I knew that I needed to get back into shape to keep up with her a she grew.  I also knew what unconditional love could feel like, and the instant bond that we shared is something that will never leave me.  Since Niamh’s birth my wife and I have had another daughter called Mia, and our little family is complete.

A few weeks after Niamh’s birth, when I was rocking her at 3am to try and sooth her horrible reflux I had some time to ponder life.  The story of my friends Steve and Louise Rooke and their daughter Amber immediately popped into my head.

Amber was born on the 19th May 2011.  Steve and Louise are genuinely two of the most lovely people to have walked the earth, and Amber was a perfect addition to their family. Amber was a beautiful, happy, easy going little lady who sadly fell ill when she was just 12 months old.  She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neurobastoma, which left her completely blind and fighting for her life.  Amber, Steve and Louise then spent the next year almost permanently in hospital with Amber. Tragically, little Amber lost her fight against Neurobastoma on the 24th June 2013, aged 2 years old.



The juxtaposition of me feeling the unconditional love for my baby, combined with the sadness I now knew Steve and Louise would feel so deeply for the loss of Amber played on my mind for a long time.  I knew I had to do something, but I had no idea what.
During a boozy BBQ in the summer of 2013 I got into conversation with my friends Mike and Bushy.  Mike has previously competed in both a full and a half distance Ironman, and Bushy has completed a half himself.  As the conversation about their Ironman exploits flowed, it hit me like a tonne of bricks.  I should compete in an Ironman and raise money for a charity in memory of Amber.  After all, how hard can an Ironman be?

I was lucky enough to find out exactly hard an Ironman can be in September 2015 when I successfully completed Challenge Weymouth Ironman, raising £7320 for Chestnut Tree House, the hospice that helped care for Amber towards the end of her life.

My fundraising exploits continue to this day, ever motivated by the amazing work that Chestnut Tree House does and the story of Amber and many children like her.

Visit my fundraising page on BT MyDonate


Steve and Amber