In December 2015, my best friend Laura’s little girl Lilli Fisher; became seriously ill after, what had started off as a chest infection went through her nervous system and onto her brain.
Lilli, who was just 3 years old at the time, was admitted to Leeds Children’s Hospital where she spent serval weeks, in the run up to Christmas, in a critical condition on the intensive care unit (ICU).
It was with thanks to all the amazing Dr’s, Nurses and other specialists on the unit who worked tirelessly around the clock, that Lilly's condition gradually improved - until she was stable enough to be transferred to the Children’s neurology ward.
Although out of the woods, the effect the illness had had on her brain; meant for a short period Lilli was unable communicate, walk or even stand.
Being the strong, willful and determined character Lilli is, she soon began to make remarkable steps towards her recovery.
Thankfully, just days before Christmas her condition improved enough that she was able to go home and spend Christmas Day with her family.
Once out of hospital Lilli’s treatment continued at home, with frequent visits back to the Children’s neurology ward on an almost daily basis. But with the ongoing help of physio therapy and speech therapy she soon regained both her speech and physical strength.
Remarkably, just a few months later; Lilli had made a full recovery with no long term lasting effects of the illness she had suffered.
Lilli is the same age as my own daughter Chloe, during her time in hospital I could only imagine the agony and distress her parents Laura and Stuart were going through.
I remember feeling so useless at the time, that there was nothing I could do to help Lilli, or my best friend; sleeping night after night in a hospital at the other end of the country.
As Lilli’s recovery progressed, it coincided with my own return to running (which I had all but given up on since my own pregnancy in 2012).
As I continued to get back into my running (after almost a four years) I felt inspired to want to do something to help, and decided i would run the 2017 Brighton Marathon for the Leeds Children’s Hospital Appeal.
Having set this as my goal, I then decided to create myself an even bigger challenge – to run the distance between my home in Essex and the Leeds Children’s Hospital, totaling 200 miles.
I started this challenge to run 200 official race miles, in October 2016 and hope to cover it over the following 17 races.
Southend 10k - 2 Oct
Leigh 10k - 16 Oct
Stebbing 10 - 13 Nov
Chelmsford 10k - 20 Nov
Boxing Day 5 - 26 Dec
Benfleet 15 - 15 Jan
Hadleigh Legacy 10k - 29 Jan
Watford Half Marathon - 5 Feb
Tunbridgewells Half Marathon - 19 Feb
Roding Valley Half Marathon - 26 Feb
Essex 20 miles - 5 March
Grizzley 2017 (20 miles off road) - 12 March
Brentwood Half Marathon - 19 March
Brighton Marathon - 9 April
Hadleigh Park Run 5k – 22 April
Hackney Half Marathon - 30 April
Leeds Half Marathon - 14 May
I look forward to sharing more photos and keeping you updated on my progress
I am so grateful to be in a position where I am able to fundraise for such a wonderful appeal and am truly thankful to everyone who can help to support me with this challenge. I really do appreciate all the kind and encouraging comments that have been left and each and every penny that you can afford to spare.
As an NHS employee, I know what a fantastic job the nurses and doctors do, and Lilli’s recovery to a clean bill of health couldn’t have happened without the incredible support of all the staff on the unit.
So there is just one more thing left to say and that is – a great BIG THANK YOU to all of you!!!!