A nurse is running the London Marathon to help visually impaired children.
Newly-qualified Emily Gates, 25, who works in the special care baby unit (SCBU) at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, has always wanted to run in the event, which this year takes place on April 21.
Mother-of-one Emily, of Bwlchgwyn, says she hopes to complete the 26-mile distance in six hours.
She discovered VICTA, which helps blind and partially sighted children across the UK, when looking for charities to run for.
The plight of the families the charity helps reminded her of those she worked with at SCBU.
“I thought it was something similar to what I deal with,” she said.
“It’s something I see quite often in the special baby unit.
“Visual impairment is quite common in premature babies, because they can be born before the retinas in their eyes are fully developed.”
She said the condition was called retinopthy in prematurity, where the retinas become detached, and it could lead to blindness.
“So it is something that’s close to my heart,” she said, “but all children’s charities are.”
She said her four-year-old son Rhys would be travelling to London with her parents to cheer her on, along with friend and colleague Marie Cross of the Maelor’s medical admissions unit.
Emily has just completed her nurse training, but her marathon training is well under way.
She said: “I try to train at least three times a week.
“I’ve done two of the 5k ‘race for life for Cancer Research’ runs, and I did the London
Royal Parks half marathon in October as a warm up, but I didn’t expect there to be so many hills in Hyde Park.
“I’m feeling more prepared now, but I think it’s going to be a little on the tough side.”
Emily is hoping to raise £1,200 and is planning to hold a quiz night in Oswestry and a comedy night in Chester to drum up support.
Anybody who would like to sponsor Emily, visit her Virgin London Marathon page at www.virginmoney giving. com/EmilyGates