Kate from Lincolnshire has been running on and off for three years and uses running as a way to clear her head, especially during tough times in her life.

Kate’s son, Oska, was diagnosed with a complex cardiac condition (Tetralogy of Fallot, ASD and Dysplastic Tricuspid Valve) in 2022, at his 20-week scan. Oska and his parents spent 2-3 weeks at a time at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, it was such a tough time for the family. Heartlink were responsible for funding the room that Oska and his family were able to stay in whilst he was in hospital as they lived 2 hours away so commuting would be challenging. Heartlink fund the parents lounge, a space for parents to make food and drinks and also be able to meet other parents going through similar situations. They also put events on for the children and their families, making a huge difference to families and their children.

Kate said: “I decided to enter the half marathon after Oska died at 8 months of age in March 2023. He contracted myocarditis. The half marathon is giving me something to focus on during the most awful pain I’ve ever known. I’ve only ever done 10km races so I really am challenging myself. I just want to make my son, and other children, proud and to help them fight just like he did. I also want to give something back to Heartlink so they can continue to make an amazing difference to families like ours.

I’m looking forward to running in Leicester as we have a huge connection to Leicester after spending much of Oska’s life there and getting to know the area. It’s like our sons second home. It will mean so much to me to complete this race in honour of the smiliest little fighter and to say thank you so much to Heartlink.

I would urge others to support Heartlink and help them with their target of funding more parent accommodation this year. Any parent would understand what it would mean to be able to stay in hospital with your child during their stay and be by their side throughout it all. 1 in 100 children are born with a heart condition in the UK. It affects so many more families than I think many people realise.”

You can sign up for the Run Leicester Festival and run alongside inspirational runners like Kate here: https://www.resultsbase.net/cp1hh5k.

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