A BROTHER and sister are limbering up to run the London Marathon to raise money for the hospital which saved her life.
John Hanrahan, 25 and his sister Kelly, 21, are training for the marathon in April, and hope to raise at least £3,500 for London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.
The brother and sister team, from Benfleet, are undertaking the 26-mile challenge to thank the hospital for saving Kelly’s life with a major brain operation, when she was 16 years old.
She suffers from a birth defect which affects her brain and spinal cord, called Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1, the effects of which have been greatly reduced since her time in the hospital.
John said: “She was getting three or four migraines every day to the point where she thought she was going to faint.
“She was passed from pillar to post with the doctors, but eventually she was referred to Great Ormond Street.
“It was a hard time for us all. She had to have half her hair shaved off and she was bedridden for a month and a half.
“The hospital staff were awesome – there were beds for the families, private rooms, nurses playing with the children. I used to get a lump in my throat when I went in – it was truly inspiring.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to run for the hospital in the past, so I’d love to say thank you for the amazing care she received.”
John was also inspired to run for the charity by oneyear- old Maison Larman, from Benfleet, who was born with cancer and has spent most of his life in Great Ormond Street Hospital, having multiple operations.
Maison has recently finished his final chemotherapy session and was given the allclear by the hospital.
John went to school with Maison’s parents, Louis Larman and Liz Sutcliffe, and says he received amazing treatment from the hospital while he was in its care.
John said: “Finding out Maison had cancer was a massive hit, and was really difficult for Liz and Louis.
“In autumn last year he started to get better, which was amazing. They didn’t think he’d make it to one and he’s come through, which is brilliant news.
“It’s a testament to the hospital and his parents, because of howwell they’ve coped and how positive they were, every day.”