A PROUD Hailsham fitness dad is running this year’s Brighton Marathon in memory of his young daughter who tragically died in her sleep last October aged just three. 

Luna-Rose Vince was born in 2019 with a rare genetic condition.  

She had Global Development Delay, which meant she was immobile, non-verbal and had frequent epilepsy seizures.  

She needed 24/7 care, but mum Sam Poulton says she was ‘the most beautiful little angel.’ 

Now Matt Vince, 31, a construction worker who goes to FFH Gym in Station Road, Hailsham, has decided to run a Marathon for the first time. 

He wants to raise £15,000 for Aquamovers – a group providing expert therapy and  socialising for severely disabled children between the age of 1 and 5 years old, at  Chailey Heritage Foundation in Mid Sussex. 

The group provided valuable support for the family and Sam said it was a life-changer for her. 

A staggering £5,000 was donated to Matt’s JustGiving fundraising page in just 12 hours, and the current amount is £10,295. 

Matt said: “The most I had ever done when I committed to running the Brighton Marathon back in December was just four miles. 

“I am taking part with two old school friends of mine, Hugo Porpora and Leon Collen. I 

hate running but I will crawl if I must just to get over the finishing line. 

“My brother Joel said he would also run the Marathon if our fundraising target hit £10,000, which we have, so he will be running with us!  

“I am determined to turn a big, big negative into a positive. Luna-Rose wouldn’t want us  to be just moping around.” 

Mum Sam, 33, a dental nurse, said Luna-Rose had been given ‘a real bad hand’ in life  but she was happy. 

Sam said: “She loved life and she smiled all the time. We never thought her condition  was life threatening at such an early stage in her life, so when she died, we were  obviously in total shock.  

“I had given up work to care for her and I struggled. I felt very lonely and didn’t know  anyone in a similar circumstance. 

“Then I heard about Aquamovers, and it made a complete difference to our family.  

“Going there helped me accept what had happened, that we had a child who was  severely disabled.”  

Matt is now looking forward to the Marathon on Sunday April 2, and is urging people to donate to Aquamovers. 

To sponsor Matt, go to Matthew Vince is fundraising for Chailey Heritage Foundation (justgiving.com)