My name is Zoe North, I was born three months premature, weighing just 2 lb 2 oz. When I was born, I was the length of my father's wristwatch. As a result of my early birth I have a lifelong condition called cerebral palsy. At the time of my diagnosis it was thought I would never walk, never talk or be independent.
Against the odds at the age of 18 I decided to set myself a goal to participate in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2016. I walked 5 miles of the marathon route a day and completed one of the world’s biggest events along with thousands of others on Sunday 24th of April. It was a dream come true and one I could fulfil thanks to the support of James Davies and Alex Wilson from Deutsche Bank. These gentlemen are both experienced marathon runners and kindly volunteered to help me reach my goal.
Just over one year on I have decided to set myself another, even more difficult challenge and take on a marathon overseas. This year, I will be completing the New York Marathon and am delighted to be joined by a bigger team of old and new friends and from my family and Deutsche Bank, who have also pledged to run the New York Marathon on 5th November 2017.
As a team of 17 we have pledged to raise money for a project that is close to my heart and aims to prevent premature birth. The project is
led by Dr Tina Chowdhury and her team who aim to develop the first ever treatment for fetal membrane damage, which is a major cause of premature birth. This extraordinary innovation could give more children a brighter future, free from the health problems associated with preterm birth.
The project is funded through Sparks, The Children’s Medical Research Charity, who are part of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity family. Together, GOSH Charity and Sparks fund pioneering national research to find new ways to diagnose, treat and cure childhood diseases.
Like me, 1 in 30 children is born in the UK with a condition which may affect them for life. Sparks gives grants to doctors and scientists across the UK to look for the cures and treatments of the future. They need your donation to fund this important research.
Please consider supporting our challenge with a donation, big or small. As the kind words, messages left and support really helps to supply the extra bit of motivation needed on the course when things get challenging.
Thank you for reading my story.
Ps. You can also watch a 3 minute film about my journey here: