A MUM whose son was born weighing less than a bag of sugar is celebrating his tenth birthday by embarking on a mammoth charity challenge.
Lorraine Henderson, went into labour 14 weeks early and her son Joseph spent the first three months of his life at York Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary.
He was born weighing just 1lb 12oz, or 790 grams, and a bleed on his brain then caused doctors to fear he would never be able to walk, but he is now fit and healthy and turned ten last month.
Lorraine, 42, will celebrate on Sunday by cycling 100 miles around London and Surrey for Bliss, the charity that provides care and support for premature babies and their families.
Lorraine, who lives in Church Fenton and works as a support manager for York-based software company MooD International, said: “Joseph was born in 2004 at York Hospital at 25 weeks, and was a really, really tiny baby. He was given quite a bleak outlook but he has done amazingly well.
“He was transferred to LGI for three weeks because he was too small for York, then back to York, but he is a completely happy and healthy boy now.”
Joseph and his brother Laurence, eight, will travel to London to support their mum on Sunday. Joseph said: "I am really proud of her. She has been doing a lot of training and she said we were to cheer her on. I am looking forward to it and we are going to meet my uncle and cousins to watch it as well."
Lorraine said the care in York's Special Care Baby Unit had been exceptional and she helped raise funds for the unit before becoming involved with Bliss, which works across the country.
She said: “Because he was turning ten I wanted to do something more challenging – so I have taken up this crazy bike ride!”
She and about 300 others will set off from the Olympic Park in London and complete a 100-mile circuit in the Prudential RideLondon event. The ride is being promoted by Olympic cyclist Laura Trott, who was born a month prematurely and with a collapsed lung, in April 1992.
Lorraine said: “We have to complete it in eight and a half hours and I am hoping to complete it in eight. I’ve been doing a lot of training.”
To sponsor Lorraine, visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/celebratingjoseph