Twenty mile run to raise money in memory of baby James
A Tharston woman will be running 20 miles to raise money for charity and to awareness of a condition which claimed the life of her friend’s son.
Louise Saunders, 28, has raised almost half of her £1,000 target, which will be donated to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (Each) .
The mum-of-two was inspired to do the run after Susie Ash and Justin Thorndyke, from Forncett St Mary, lost their son James to severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) at the age of one.
“It’s been a really tough time for them,” said Mrs Saunders.
“SCID is more common than people think and, when you start reading into it, you start to realise that.
“I decided to do the run to keep the momentum going in raising awareness of the condition, after all the great work Susie and Justin have done.”
SCID is the name given to a group of rare, inherited disorders that cause major abnormalities in the immune system.
Since losing their son, Susie and Justin have raised £16,000 for Each – including through a ball held at Sprowston Manor earlier this year.
Mrs Saunders said: “I’m really proud of them for what they have done.
“They’ve worked so hard to raise such an amazing amount of money.”
Mrs Saunders will be running her 20-mile challenge on Sunday, May 27.
“I was going to organise an event myself,” explained Mrs Saunders.
“Then I thought I would set myself a real challenge with a 20-mile run.
“I am really nervous. I’ve never run 20 miles before – I’ve only done five miles at a time.
“I have been doing some training – I ran 14 miles earlier this week, so I’m getting there.”
Mrs Saunders said that family and friends have been supportive of her fundraising effort.
“I’m just thinking of all the support I’m getting and that’s helping me to carry on,” she said.
“Everyone is supporting me to do it, so I’m going to do it.”
Any money she raises will help Each, which is currently running an appeal to build a new hospice in Quidenham.
Susie said: “I know Louise has been thinking about doing a run and to do it in memory of James is quite amazing.
“We’ve been very adamant that we don’t want James forgotten and we want him to have a long-lasting memory.
“It’s so nice that other people are raising awareness of SCID. When people appreciate what you’ve been through, it shows that they care.
“Each does fantastic things and, with the Nook appeal, it deserves as much money as it can get.”
“Things never get easier, but you learn to cope a bit better each day,” she added. “It’s horrendously hard.
“The important thing is that James is not going to be forgotten.”
Susie said the money will help make people aware of new-born screening and also help save lives.
To donate to Mrs Saunders' run or to find out more, click here.