A YOUNG girl from Alloa who was told from birth she may never walk is set to defy all odds by taking part in a 5km fundraising run.
Hope Gilmour, 11, was originally diagnosed with clicky hips as a baby but, during an operation to resolve this, doctors discovered she actually had no hip sockets at all and would need to have new ones carved.
The family was told Hope may never be able to walk or may walk with a limp following this operation.
Louisa said: “After Hope’s first operation where she had new hip sockets carved, she had to be in a full body cast and, after that, we had monthly appointments until she needed a second operation again when she was 3.
“We weren’t sure what the outcome would be as we’d been told there was a high chance her ability to walk would be affected, so when she was given the all clear at the age of 7, we were absolutely over the moon.
“Since then, her achievements have been astonishing. She’s been in her school running club since Primary 3 and won her part in the relay in sports day.
“Other parents come to tell me how good she is at running and she has now set herself the goal of running the London Marathon by the age of 16. It’s all just unbelievable.”
Now, having surpassed all expectations, Hope and her mum Louisa are running the Edinburgh 5km Big Fun Run to raise money for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC), which supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and helped the family to have a positive hospital experience.
The charity funds a volunteer service to ensure families are supported and comforted and enables parents and carers to feel relaxed and recharged. It also funds distractions, filling the playrooms with books and toys so that children and young people feel less scared during a hospital visit.
Louisa continued: “If it hadn’t been for ECHC, I don’t know what we would have done when Hope was in hospital. The work of the charity was so vital to us during this stressful time.
“After her operation, I hated the idea of leaving Hope on her own, but there was always a volunteer to come and sit with her so that I could go and get a coffee or something to eat.
“The Play Specialist always made sure she had toys and games to play with. They even got her a cassette and some headphones so she could listen to music which really cheered her up.
“We were also able to stay in PJs loft – the parents’ accommodation which the charity funds. Hope was only supposed to be in overnight but we ended up staying at the hospital for a week, so having this really helped us.”
“People don’t realise that many of the excellent facilities and services at the RHSC are funded by the charity, so we’re running the Edinburgh 5K Big Fun Run to raise awareness of their incredible work. And if we can raise some money at the same time, even better.”
Rachel Baxter, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at ECHC, said: “We are so thankful to Hope and Louisa for choosing us as their cause and we wish them the very best of luck.
“The fact that Hope is taking part in this run is such a testament to her strength and determination and is really inspirational to us.
“At ECHC, we exist to ensure children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness and it’s the generosity of those who get involved with us, like Hope and Louisa, which allows us to continue to do this.”
Hope and Louisa are running the Edinburgh 5K Big Fun Run on Sunday 30th July. To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louisaandhope