Neil's 160km Race for Kids

Why Do I Run?
Part Three: For Eleni


On December 6th, 2017, our third child, Eleni Isla McKay joined our family.

Eleni’s life started out in much the same way as many babies in London, with the tremendous care of the team at LHSC where she was born.

Neil runs for his girls, Hadley and Eleni Like Hadley, Eleni also had jaundice. After being home for a few days, my wife and I felt as though it was not improving. We ended up taking Eleni to the Children’s Hospital to get checked out.

Like her sister, Eleni had elevated bilirubin levels, although thankfully, they were much, much lower than Hadley’s were. Eleni was allowed to go home, but we had to return to the hospital every few days for a couple of weeks in order for her blood to be tested to monitor her bilirubin levels. Tests which could only be done at the hospital. Thankfully, Eleni’s levels quickly returned to normal, and there was no more cause for concern.

About a year and a half later, I received an urgent text from my wife. Eleni had taken a bad fall at daycare and had done some damage to her mouth. My wife rushed her to paediatric emergency at LHSC where I soon joined her.

Eleni was checked for any signs of head injury and her mouth was examined. Two of her bottom teeth were just hanging on. Apart from her teeth, everything else thankfully checked out. We were referred to the dental clinic at LHSC where Eleni’s two damaged teeth had to be removed.

Neil runs for Eleni, his youngest daughter. We were once again very pleased with the care that we received during a difficult situation. Eleni is a very happy and active three year old. She brings us tremendous happiness with her hugs, kisses, smiles (even if there is a gap in her smile!), and amazing little personality.

Eleni’s story highlights the fact that it is not always the “major” medical occurrences that Children’s assists with, but also those day-to-day falls, trips, breaks, and other things that are part of growing up. Fortunately, Eleni’s story is not nearly as dramatic as her brother’s or sister’s, but it is still important.

Now, when I run marathons or ultramarathons, I run with four names on my hand, my son Jacob, my daughters Hadley and Eleni, and my wife Haylie.

In August 2021, Neil will be running the Foxtail Hundred Rail Trail Race in Dundas, Ontario to raise money for Children’s Health Foundation, in honour of Jacob, his daughters Hadley and Eleni, and all of the children and families who use the services provided by the Children’s Health Foundation.


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Keep Reading:

For Jacob | For Hadley


Neil’s story has been featured by:

Canadian Running Magazine
CTV News London
The London Free Press
Through Not Around: Stories of Infertility and Pregnancy Loss







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