The ICPCN is pleased to announce that Richard Newton, a specialist correspondent with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), as an ICPCN Global Champion for children with life limiting conditions.
Richard is a global citizen and accomplished journalist who has lived and worked in numerous locations worldwide,
Richard’s connection with children’s palliative care began in 2002 when he covered a story about Sunflower House Children’s Hospice in Bloemfontein and met the founder and then director, Joan Marston. He describes meeting Joan and the children in the hospice and seeing the striking sunflowers painted on the walls of the Sunflower Children’s Hospice, each one bearing the name of a child who had passed away from a life limiting illness, as life changing. Learning of the work done by the Sunflower Children’s Hospice team to ensure the best quality of life possible for the children and families in their care made an indelible impression on him.
Over the years since that first meeting, Richard has continued to support Sunflower Children’s Hospice both in his personal and professional capacity. He also continued to support Joan, who, while still connected to Sunflower Children’s Hospice, moved on to work at the national Hospice and Palliative Care Association (HPCA). While there, she led the development of numerous children’s palliative care programmes in the country and then in 2012 became the first Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN).
In April 2014 the ICPCN held its first international congress in India and again Richard was there as a special correspondent, documenting the event for TV audiences back home in South Africa.
In April of 2015 Richard ran the London Marathon to raise funds for ICPCN. Asked why he was willing to support the ICPCN by running the 42 kilometre race, Richard said,
“My family and I are proud to support the ICPCN and the amazing work it does. When Joan asked if I would be prepared to run the London Marathon to raise funds I was more than willing. Compared to the everyday challenges, ups and downs and dealing with pain that the kids, the dedicated staff and families go through, running a marathon seemed like the least I could do!”