Hector Revill (17) has been pounding the streets in a daily challenge to complete THIRTY-ONE half-marathons on the bounce and raise cash for us to save modern medicine – and lives.
But while his contribution so far has been greatly appreciated, it is as a role model to a generation who could be decimated by drug-resistant infections, that has most impressed our chief executive, Professor Colin Garner.
“A lack of investment in developing new antibiotics has meant that previously treatable infections can now prove deadly. The World Health Organisation has predicted that ten million people will die of drug-resistant infections by 2050. The COVID-19 pandemic will only exacerbate this.” said Professor Garner, “Despite the dire predictions, few from Hector’s generation even know that the problem exists. But in the way Greta Thunberg has raised awareness of climate change, he could be the front runner in saving modern medicine and lives.”
During our last flagship fundraising drive, The Great British Tea Party, we noticed a pleasing interest from university students. Particularly those studying to be dentists, doctors, and vets wanted were interested in student fundraising. Getting that group motivated though, has been more difficult – something Hector acknowledges.
“Before I got involved with Antibiotic Research UK, I must admit I didn’t know much about the problem.” said Hector, “I think the subject is very much like climate change, but the answer is not to hold demonstrations. It is more about persuading the government to incentivise pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs.”
Hector has combined his passion for the subject with another great love – running. He competes in the Surrey League for the Hercules Wimbledon AC club and has run in the National Cross-Country championships for his club. Hopeful of extending his education at Oxford University with a degree in Chemistry, Hector said: “If I am stuck on a problem, a good run helps. It keeps me relaxed.”
As with many young people, COVID-19 is the first health crisis he has ever witnessed. He wants to understand a bit more about the role antibiotics are playing in care. Hector recognises that patients are picking up secondary bacterial infections whilst being treated for the pandemic. “I do have views about lock down being implemented earlier, but I think the Government and indeed the world has dealt quite well with COVID -19.” said Hector, “Now can it sort out the problem of antibiotic resistance?”
You can back Hector’s goal of completing 31 consecutive half-marathons in August, by going to his Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hector-running