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I’m running to bring hope for my daughter

Victoria’s eight-year-old daughter has a rare lung disease. The mother-of-three began running to raise vital funds for lung health charities and will be running the virtual London Marathon this year.

I started running a couple of years ago after my daughter Harper was became unwell with a rare lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. She was later also diagnosed with asthma. I knew I wanted to do something to raise money for charities that fund research into treatments for my daughter’s lung conditions and running races seemed like a great way to start.

What I’ve found as a single mother of three children is that running has really helped me with my mental health. All three of my children have autism and so it’s important for me to stay fit and healthy, physically and mentally, so I can support them. I started off with the couch to 5k challenge and one year later, I was set to run my first ever marathon in London!

Why I’m supporting the BLF

It took a long time for Harper to be diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, which eventually happened in 2019 when she was six years old. She’s spent most of her life in and out of hospital with chest infections. It’s terrifying when you see your child unable to breathe properly and no one can tell you why.

When Harper had her first CT scan a few years ago, I rang the British Lung Foundation helpline to discuss the results, which showed that her lungs were damaged. The BLF respiratory nurse was really helpful and explained the scan in terms that I could understand. She also gave me the courage to ask for better care from the consultants for Harper. I was grateful for the support we received from the BLF and began raising money for them.

Shielding during Covid

Harper spent almost a month in hospital earlier this year during which time COVID-19 was being reported on the news. Back then the cases were mostly in China but I heard the nurses saying that it wouldn’t be long before the infection arrived in the UK. When we were discharged from hospital, my family began shielding and we didn’t leave our house for seven months.

Although I’m disappointed this year’s London Marathon was cancelled, I’m pleased I’m able to take part in the virtual event from my home. I’m going to do one-mile laps around where I live in the West Midlands.

I haven’t been able to train much but I know I’ll be able to complete the 26.2 miles because I’ll be doing it for Harper.

There might not be a cure yet for Harper’s condition, but I’m determined that I’m going to do everything I can to help my little girl and other families in the same position as us.

Thinking about signing up to run the London Marathon next year?

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the BLF's finances. We need to make the London Marathon 2021 as big as possible - the more Team Breathe runners the better! Enter the ballot and choose British Lung Foundation. We need you!

Enter the ballot now!

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1 October 2020