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Molly, 2, takes on balance bike ride to raise money for Addenbrooke’s neonatal intensive care unit

A toddler who was born prematurely is getting on her balance bike to raise funds for the intensive care unit that saved her life.

Molly Marsh, 2, on her bike ride for the NHS (34283936)
Molly Marsh, 2, on her bike ride for the NHS (34283936)

Molly Marsh, 2, will be completing socially distanced laps of the cul de sac where she lives in Girton in a sponsored ride for the neonatal intensive care unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

The charity effort was the idea of her parents Penny and Andrew Marsh who wanted to thank the unit for saving their daughter’s life and in solidarity with parents who may be going through this already frightening experience during the coronavirus outbreak.

Penny said: “Molly loves riding her balance bike and during the Clap for Carers last Thursday she was zipping around our drive. We were all thinking about Colonel Tom Moore’s efforts to raise funds for the NHS and that’s when I thought of a way we could contribute while Molly has some fun.”

The family has set up a Just Giving page to raise money for the unit.

Molly Marsh, 2, on her bike ride for the NHS (34283940)
Molly Marsh, 2, on her bike ride for the NHS (34283940)

“Premature babies must be among the most vulnerable people during this crisis and I kept thinking about how much more frightening it would be to have a baby in intensive care right now. Our own experience was very scary but I can’t fault the unit at Addenbrooke’s - they were wonderful.”

At 26 weeks into pregnancy, doctors feared that Penny was about to give birth and told her the baby would only have a 20 per cent chance of survival. Thanks to the care mum and baby received, Molly was not born until 10 weeks later, a month premature, when her chances of survival were much greater.

Penny said: “About an hour after she was born, Molly became floppy and had to be taken to intensive care. I was beside myself with fear. When I was allowed to see her she had all these wires coming out of her. It was awful.”

Molly was allowed home at five days old and is now thriving.

Penny said: “Now due to Covid-19 we find ourselves in another scary and uncertain time, which led me to thinking about how terrifying it must be for other families in our situation right now. I can’t even imagine the level of worry they must have. So to give something back to the NICU we wanted to raise some money to help give other premature babies and parents the extra support they will need at an incredibly anxious time.

Molly Marsh, 2, on her bike ride for the NHS (34283943)
Molly Marsh, 2, on her bike ride for the NHS (34283943)

“One of Molly’s favourite things to do is to play on her balance bike so we are incorporating that with the approved exercise from the government within social distancing where she will do 15 laps of our road.”

Molly began yesterday (Tuesday) and is continuing today and tomorrow, finishing in time to clap for carers as she does every Thursday evening before bed.

“For us this is about Molly having fun, marking this unique time with milestones and memories and most importantly giving something back and encouraging kindness,” said Penny.

To sponsor Molly, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/molly-marsh.

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