A Spalding businesswoman is running her first ever marathon to help the family of a ten-year-old girl battling illness.
Monika Todd will be pounding the streets of the capital for the London Marathon next month and has extra motivation to succeed.
She is raising money for Alethia Greenfield who is waiting for a vital appointment at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The Donington youngster is now totally immobile after a year of mystery illness.
Alethia’s mum, Emilia, said her daughter had been a normal, energetic and enthusiastic girl until last April.
“She started to walk in a strange way and was in a great deal of pain all of the time,” said Emilia.
“Then she was walking on tip-toe and was still in a lot of pain – and it got a lot worse,” she added.
Despite a raft of tests at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, there was no answers for Alethia or her family.
“The doctors ran all the tests they could, but could find nothing. They have given her painkillers but now she has lost use of all her muscles. She is alert, can see and speak, but she can’t even move her head.
“She has also started to have seizures and can no longer bear noise or light and is totally without movement,” said Emilia.
Initially doctors put a cast on both Alethia’s legs, saying it was possibly a problem with the Achilles tendon in both of them. But that was not the case and they were removed and after that she had no feeling in her legs at all, said her mum.
Alethia was also diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder, and her mum was told that there was no physical issues to be found which were causing the range of symptoms.
Her brother and sister, aged 14 and 15, both students at the Thomas Cowley School, are struggling with the situation and Emilia has been forced to stop working to care for her daughter. But with no proper medical diagnosis, there is no extra financial help and the 10-year-old is housebound as a special car seat is needed.
“She can’t move at all now and we are waiting for a date to come through for Great Ormond Street. Despite everything, she was going to school for as long as she could. It’s heartbreaking,” said Emilia, who has been prescribed anti-depressants as a result of the situation.
“We are all so worried about her – it’s very hard,” she added.
Her friend Monika has always wanted to run the London Marathon and got a place via the public ballot. Now she is fundraising for Alethia to help the family pay for a specialist seat.
“I have been training and completed a 15-mile race and a 19-mile race – now it’s strength training,” said Monika, who trains with her Labrador Pixie. She has started a fundraising page at the website JustGiving and is running for Team Alethia: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/monika-todd-team-alethia