A Child's Smile is Priceless!

A chance encounter in the Company restaurant led colleagues Rob Haughton, Senior Contracting Specialist, MD UK, and David Griffiths, Pricing Lead, DePuy Synthes EMEA, to embark on one of their toughest physical challenges of their life - completing 30 Consecutive 10km runs in the month of June 2018, to bring smiles to the faces of children with a cleft lip and palate.

“I had just finished listening to Mike Charlton, Orthopaedics Sales Manager, UK, at the annual conference, talk about the charity bike ride that he and many other colleges had completed for an awesome charity called Operation Smile. The amazing work conducted by Operation Smiles moved me, and so I wondered what I could do to support this amazing charity,” said Rob. “I came up with the idea to run 10K a day for a whole month, and soon after I met Dave one lunch time in the Company restaurant and mentioned what I was planning to do - surprisingly he seemed interested in joining me in the challenge.”

Shortly after that initial conversation, the sporty duo embarked on a training programme to prepare for the month-long challenge, training through adverse UK weather conditions, amid their business and family commitments.

“I chose to join Rob on this challenge as I wanted to dedicate my timeand efforts to something bigger,” said Dave. “Operation Smile is an amazing charity that changes the lives of children forever. Having a family of my own I know that a child’s smile is priceless and I wanted to give my all to raise as many new smiles as possible.”

Rob and Dave - 10K a day (3).JPG

As 1st June approached, the team felt ambitious and ready to take on the challenge of the month ahead…

“The first week was a real test. My body was not used to running every day, without a rest day,” said Dave. “The second and third week were challenging because of various commitments but my body was adapting and the only challenge was fitting the runs in.”

For Rob, day 21 proved to be his nemesis “The first two weeks went without incident, I felt good - then day 21 happened. I finished my run and could hardly walk. The next morning I tried to run across the road to catch the bus and I winced in pain as it stopped me dead in my tracks. I called my sister, a sports physiotherapist, and told her I was in trouble and needed her help. After a one session of cupping therapy, which involves cups and fire (!), I could run without pain again. A miracle! I was back running freely and I couldn’t believe it when the pain didn’t return.”

For Dave, the final 5 days were the most challenging. “All the injuries, niggles and pains came all at once and some days it was difficult to even walk. However, being so close to the finish line and knowing what we were doing it for I didn’t look back knowing that it was all to raise a smile for children around the world”.

Both Dave and Rob completed their challenge, with an enormous sense of achievement. Dave completed the challenge with 307.4 kilometres in 22 hours and 53 minutes and Rob went beyond target with 323 kilometres in 32 hours and 12 minutes, an incredible achievement.

To donate, access the team’s JustGiving Page

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“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder and President