Super-fundraiser Ella Chadwick has set herself a mammoth challenge to run 10k in combined kids’ events starting on her 10th birthday next weekend.
The brave nine-year-old, from Whitworth in Rochdale, will celebrate her birthday in style when she takes on the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run on Saturday 9 September, marking exactly ten years to the day that she was born.
When Ella watched her Mum Karen cross the finish line of the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run in May it was one of the most heartwarming moments of the weekend.
Ella decided that she wanted to be able to take on her very own 10k challenge for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, where she has spent a lot of her time being treated over the last ten years.
The Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run will begin a full year of fundraising for Ella, where she aims to take on 10k worth of Great Run events between now and September 2018.
Ella survived 40 gruelling operations in her first six years before having a lifesaving kidney donated from her grandmother.
It also marks ten years of the inspirational schoolgirl being a patient at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, who have cared for Ella since she was a baby.
She has been a patient there all of her life after she was born with Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome, a rare illness which causes kidney failure.
She was forced to have both of her kidneys removed and up until her life-saving transplant, she faced weekly hospital trips for dialysis.
Even after her transplant in May 2014, Ella suffered from mobility problems and had to learn how to support herself on her feet.
But she never lets that stop her and she is a welcome regular at the Mini and Junior Runs across the country, mainly the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run.
Her fundraising will kick off next weekend, when she tackles the 1.5k Mini course on the NewcastleGateshead Quayside.
Ella’s mum Karen, 36, said: “I absolutely loved taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run this year and Ella was so happy when she saw me cross the finish line.
“She loves taking part in the running events and she said to me ‘I want to run 10k like you!”
“I knew that 10k was a long distance for me, so I suggested that she do 10k in Mini runs as I know how much she enjoys it.
“She was over the moon with the idea and thought it would be extra special to mark her 10th Birthday with a year of challenges.
“Coincidentally, the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run falls exactly on her Birthday so it’s the perfect way to start it. Ella is so excited that she gets to run on her Birthday.
“It’s hard to put into words what the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital have done for us. They have been Ella’s lifeline since she was born and she will need them when she is older.
“A year of fundraising for them is the perfect way to celebrate 10 years of her being a patient too.”
Ella will take part in the UK’s biggest children’s running event, before making the journey up to Glasgow for the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run’s Family Mile.
She will then head to Birmingham and Portsmouth in October for the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Birmingham Run and the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run.
Bristol will then be her next challenge in May as she takes on the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Family Run, before taking on her home event in Manchester, the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great Manchester Run.
Finally, she will head back to Gateshead for the Simplyhealth Great North Family Run, taking place in Gateshead International Stadium, which will complete her 10k of events.
Karen added: “Ella always enjoys her experience at the Great Run events and she always jumps at a chance to raise money for the charity.
“I’m really proud of her because she is doing something so selfless on what is a big milestone for her.
“Everyone is asking if she is having a party for her Birthday but she says she is more excited about doing the run!”
Jessica Ruth, Events Manager at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Ella is one of our most dedicated supporters so we’re delighted that she will be fundraising for us once again.
“Everyone who meets Ella is blown away by her positivity and courage and after all the hurdles she’s faced it is inspirational how determined she is to give back to the hospital.
“Ella has chosen the perfect challenge to mark both her birthday and her 10 years of treatment and we will all be supporting her every step of the way!”
For more information about the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great North Run, visit: Greatrun.org/North