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19 years ago, I experienced everyone’s worst nightmare when my house set on fire as I slept. Michaela and Jamie, then just nine and six years old, were trapped in their room as heat and smoke quickly filled the house. As they waited for help, they opened the bedroom window in a desperate attempt to reach clean air. However, Jamie lost his balance and fell 15ft from the window. He was knocked unconscious and rolled into the fire. In a bid to rescue her brother from the flames Michaela courageously leapt out the window after him, breaking her ankle, and pulled her brother from the fire. Jamie, who suffered 27% burns, was rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where he spent three months undergoing lifesaving treatment. During this time, I, along with my parents, Michaela and my eldest Mark, who had been on a school trip at the time of the fire, was given free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation at The Sick Children’s Trust’s Crawford House.
I’ve always wanted to do something for Crawford House and The Sick Children’s Trust, but over the last few years it’s been an uphill battle. Jamie has had to go back to hospital a few times for skin graphs and I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the fire. However, in January, my friend encouraged me to join a running group. I didn’t even run at school so initially wasn’t very keen, but now I love it! It’s been the best thing for my mental health and I have realized that it is the perfect way for me to raise money for Crawford House. So this year I have chosen to take part in the Great North Run and hope to raise £1,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust. Whether I’m running, walking or crawling, I will complete this challenge and with your help will be able to give other families with seriously ill children in hospital a ‘Home from Home’.
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