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Devoted dad Grant Saker to run Yorkshire Marathon in aid of children’s charity
A DEVOTED dad will be tackling Sunday’s Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon – his first ever marathon – in aid of the children’s charity that helped his family through a serious illness.
Grant Saker’s 11-month-old daughter Bella has fought her way back from major surgery after being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.
While Bella was being treated at Leeds General Infirmary her dad and mum Lucy, from Holgate, York, stayed at the Sick Children’s Trust’s Eckersley House, so they could be close to her day and night.
Lucy said: “It was a lifesaver. They very kindly gave us a room which was close to Bella’s ward. There was a kitchen and we could come and go at whatever time of the night. It was perfect.”
At six months old Bella was diagnosed with total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage, a rare heart disorder that meant blood was not passing through her heart and lungs properly.
She needed major surgery to “re-plumb” her heart and lungs, but four-and-a-half months later is recovering well.
Grant, 33, said: “Bella is the strongest person I know and I am so proud of her.”
He had already signed up for the Yorkshire Marathon before Bella became ill, but could not decide which charity to support until he and Lucy were helped by the trust.
Grant said: “I have decided to run the Yorkshire Marathon to raise money for The Sick Children’s Trust so they can carry on supporting families going through life-changing ordeals. I know how important their work is and I want to do all I can to help raise awareness of this amazing charity.”
Grant, a careers advisor at Garforth Academy, is running with his friend, James Whaley, also from York. They have already raised £3,000 through sponsorship and gift aid, and Grant’s training has been going well, despite some knee problems in his last few days of training.
With less than a week to go, he is excited about finally crossing the start line on Sunday.
“So many people have helped me raise so much money that I just want to get going now and get round the course.”
• Don’t miss our Yorkshire Marathon supplement in The Press newspaper tomorrow.
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