Driffield’s Kirsty Brown is continuing her fundraising feats by competing in this year’s Great North Run on Sunday.
Kirsty is competing in the race, which consists of 13 miles around the City of Newcastle, alongside a friend and is doing so in aid of the Make A Wish Foundation.
She exclusively told the Wolds Weekly of her inspirations behind running and the decision to run for the Foundation: “I have done a few events already,” she said. “This year I’ve done the Yorkshire Warrior, Race for Life and Run or Dye.
“A friend challenged me to do the Great North Run and at first I was a bit unsure as 13 miles is a long way but I’m turning 40 this year and in the end I thought why not?
“My friend got her place accepted in the general ballot but I didn’t so I decided to look at running for a charity rather than not taking part.
“I already raise money for cancer support when I do Race for Life every year at Sewerby and when I saw Make A Wish and read up on it I thought it sounded like a fantastic charity so chose them.”
The Make A Wish Foundation is a charity which grants the wishes of young children with life-threatening conditions.
After Kirsty posted on Facebook that she was running for the Foundation to ask for sponsorship, she spoke to Emma Robson, whose daughter Mia benefitted from Make A Wish.
“The fact that a Driffield girl has been aided by Make A Wish makes it even nicer for me to run for them,” said Kirsty.
Mia, 10, who attends Driffield Junior School, suffers from congenital heart disease and has already had three open heart surgeries.
Emma told the Wolds Weekly of the amazing experience that Make A Wish provided for Mia and her family: “Back in 2010, a relative of ours contacted Make A Wish regarding Mia and in 2011, they enabled Mia, her sister Louise 18, my husband Neal and myself to go to Florida and gave us tickets for Universal Studios.
“It was Mia’s wish to have a Harry Potter wand which she got and still cherishes but we also had a tour of the studios as well as going to Disney World and Sea World.
“We stayed in a resort that was specifically designed for children with serious illnesses and we had all the support we needed so I can’t thank the foundation enough for what they did for Mia.”
In terms of funds raised for the Foundation, Kirsty had to reach £350 just to be able to enter the Great North Run as a charitable runner.
At first she thought it may be a difficult challenge but it has certainly proved otherwise: “I think so far we have raised over £700 which is absolutely fantastic,” she enthused. “I’ve had so much support since I posted my sponsor page on Facebook around six months ago.
“I would love to get to £1,000 as that would be a great achievement.
“If anyone else would like to sponsor me there are sponsor forms in the reception of Bridge Street Dental Practice where I work. You can put money in the donation box or visit my donation page atwww.justgiving.com/Kirsty-
Kirsty has had to overcome some personal demons herself when, in February 2010, she had to have emergency spinal surgery at Hull Royal Infirmary;
“Basically I bent over whilst getting ready for work one morning and felt a pain like no other at the bottom of my back,” Kirsty recalled. “It was so bad I actually passed out.
“I managed to move to the sofa and thought I’d just have the day off and rest over the weekend as it was a Friday.
“Then I started to feel numb all the way down the back of my leg so called a doctor to explain what had happened.
“Within 15 minutes there was one on my doorstep who did some tests and advised me to go straight to Hull Royal Infirmary, where I had emergency spinal surgery the next day.
“A disc had popped out of the bottom of my back, dragging my spinal cord out of my spinal column and crushing it.
“I was told rehab would be 6-12 months after surgery but I’m still paralysed even now and have been told I will never recover.
“For two years I had real problems and was in so much pain and on so many drugs it was difficult just to get through the day.
“The neurosurgeons said there was no more they could do and that I would probably end up needing a wheelchair. In the end they booked me in for a nerve block injection.”
Eventually, it was a local physiotherapist who helped Kirsty back on track. “Someone recommended Sam Havler at Woldsway to Health who helped get me back on my feet in six weeks and within a year I was off all of the tablets and cancelled the nerve block injection.
“He started me off with basic exercise on my internal muscles which had collapsed due to the paralysis and I was soon confident enough to go back to the gym, starting with gentle exercise and eventually managed to lose three stone.
“When I entered the Great North Run you have to state a time you expect to complete it in.
“I wasn’t sure as I hadn’t started any training and I had no idea how my spine would cope with running so I put two hours 40 minutes which means I’ll be starting right at the very back but from what I’m running at the moment I’m hoping for around the two hours mark.
“I know that Mo Farah is running this year and it would be nice to run with him but I doubt I’ll be able to catch him!”