A student from Newcastle is taking on the Gateshead 10k this month, to raise money and awareness for a charity that supported her younger sister.
23-year-old Alexia O’Rourke, from Heaton is taking part in the race, which will take place on Sunday, April 30 to raise money for the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) Charity which is based in Stanmore, London.
The charity supported Alexia’s younger sister, 20-year-old Freya when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. Alexia is running the race as a way to say thank you to the charity for supporting Freya during her treatment.
The RNOH charity supports the work of RNOH which treats patients of all ages who are suffering from neuro musculoskeletal conditions which includes spinal cord injuries, bone cancer, scoliosis and acute hip and knee problems.
Freya was treated by RNOH and underwent spinal fusion to treat her condition in November 2020, which is abnormal twisting and curvature of the spine. In June 2022, Freya had to undergo a second surgery to remove a prominent piece of metal work.
Alexia said: “Throughout her time in hospital for both surgeries, Freya was supported by an incredible team of surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, radiographers and more who provided incredible ongoing care for my younger sister.
“Despite the difficulties during COVID and lockdowns, they have continued to be supportive and attentive to her needs and that of all our family, I will be forever grateful for this. I am looking forward to the race and have been undertaking 5k and 10k runs around my local area for my training.”
Alexia hopes to raise more than £150 for the RNOH charity as well as awareness. They have recently launched a new campaign named Impossible, Possible, which aims to raise further awareness of the incredible work of RNOH.
Money raised for the charity goes towards funding overall improvements to patient experiences and clinical research, which includes the purchasing of state-of-the-art imaging equipment, transforming the spinal cord injury centre’s day room and further pioneering musculoskeletal research and ground-breaking developments.
Vicky Brady, community fundraising manager of the RNOH Charity added: “It is wonderful to hear from Alexia how supportive Freya and her family felt during her treatment. It can be nerve wracking for anyone undergoing surgery, let alone someone as young as Freya, so she is very brave.
“Without people like Alexia’s fundraising efforts, we couldn’t do what we do supporting those who need it most. We wish her the very best of luck for the race.”
To find out more about the charity, and you can donate or get involved, please visit the RNOH charity website.
Alexia has currently raised £110 with the help of six supporters. To donate to Alexia’s, please visit her JustGiving page.
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