A mum of two from Prudhoe has entered the Simplyhealth Great North Run after a close friend’s daughter suffered with heart problems.
Hayley Dickinson, 30, is running the half marathon for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) in support of Amelia Marran, a family friend who was diagnosed with heart conditions at the age of four.
This included pulmonary hypertension and hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which affected blood flow through the heart.
In 2011, she had the first of many operations and courses of treatment, but her heart still didn’t improve; in 2015, she suffered several cardiac arrests.
It was August 2015 before she was able to undergo a heart transplant, which elicited further complications in the form of post-transplant lymphoma, cancer treatments and two further emergency surgeries.
Hayley said: “Simon, Amelia’s stepdad, is a very close family friend of mine and we were introduced to Mia as soon as Lisa and Simon got together.
“She quickly became a very important part of our lives and my two little girls are very close to Amelia.”
She added: “I know the huge impact that Amelia’s condition has had on Lisa and Simon’s lives, for example they can’t go anywhere alone the two of them without having a nurse for Amelia as she needs assistance with her tracheostomy tube.
“They work so tirelessly as a team to keep Amelia well and happy.”
After witnessing Amelia and her family battle with her heart conditions, Hayley decided to raise money to help other families like them.
She will be joining thousands of other runners at the Simplyhealth Great North Run, which takes place on Sunday 10 September.
Hayley said: “Amelia was my inspiration to run the Great North Run.
“I wasn’t fit, and I’ve had 2 Caesarean-sections, so my body has had a battering; I have never been a runner, so it’s my personal goal to get over the finish line.
“I just wanted to give something back to CHUF as a thank you for all the amazing work they do.”