12-year-old girl with cerebral palsy takes on the Junior and Mini Great North Run for The Stroke Association

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Scarlett Hefford is running the Junior and Mini Great North Run on Saturday 10 September 2022 with her brother to raise money for The Stroke Association after she had a stroke at birth and was diagnosed with hemiplegia.

As a result of the stroke, Scarlett has cerebral palsy meaning her whole left side is ineffective. She has a carbon fibre leg splint which helps her to walk and a hand splint.

After watching her mum, Becky, run the Great North Run last year, and seeing the Junior and Mini Great North Run taking place on the Saturday before, Scarlett decided she wanted to take part to raise money for The Stroke Association.

Scarlett’s mother, Becky, spoke to us about Scarlett’s upcoming run, “To hear that she wants to take part in the run is a massive deal.

“She’s been training, doing physio and stretches. She wants to get more involved in the charity.

“Having cerebral palsy, and specifically hemiplegia, affects her day to day life. She hasn’t got full use of her left hand so she does a lot of things one-handed. It’s a struggle.

“She’s at the age now where she can’t keep up with her peers so it’s frustrating for her but she just gets on with it. She’s brilliant.”

Becky has previously ran the Great North Run before for various charities, one of them being The Stroke Association. Speaking about the impact of The Great North Run Becky told us:

“The first time I did it I was with my friend. I wasn’t a runner, but since then I’ve had the bug. I don’t think I’ve ever done the Great North Run and not cried. I love it. So when my children said they wanted to do it too I cried again because I think it’s such an amazing event for them to take part in. I’m so proud of them both.”

The Stroke Association is a charity which works to help rebuild lives after strokes. They help both stroke survivors and carers and provide support, information and advice as well as undertaking research and campaigning.

Becky told us about a shop on the Stroke Association website where you can buy specialist equipment to help stroke survivors.

“They had something called a nork which is a knife and fork in one. It’s a great adaptation. Scarlett can’t use her left hand so it was really helpful and I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t have looked on their website. It’s a one stop shop. If they can’t help you, they’ll put you in contact with those who can.”

Scarlett and her brother will be running the Junior and Mini Great North Run on Saturday 10 September to raise money for The Stroke Association. It’s part of a fantastic weekend of sport and fundraising on Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside.

For more information on the event visit here.

For more information/to support the charity visit here.