Schoolgirl inspired by brother's battle with blood cancer creates charity fun run

Penarth Times: BRAVE RUNNERS: (from left) Phalisha Valji, Kathryn Morgan, Maxine Pwele and Phaishali Valji before the run BRAVE RUNNERS: (from left) Phalisha Valji, Kathryn Morgan, Maxine Pwele and Phaishali Valji before the run

A PENARTH youngster inspired by her brother's battle against a form of blood cancer created her own fun run and raised more than £400 for charity.

Kathryn Morgan, 13, came up with the idea to run 2.6miles across the Cardiff Bay Barrage in aid of the Welsh children's cancer charity LATCH.

Stanwell School pupil Kathryn also recruited three of her friends, Maxine Pwele, Phaishali Valji and Phalisha Valji, to take part in the charity fun run last month.

All three completed the run, from Penarth Marina to the Norwegian Church and returning back to the Barrage Car Park, despite a deluge of heavy rain and cross winds across the Barrage.

Year 9 pupil Kathryn said that the idea of fundraising for charity came when she was looking through family photos and saw a picture of "an ill little boy" that she didn't recognise.

"They told me he was my brother when he was eight-years-old," she said.

"He had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer related to the blood, in 1998.

"LATCH, a charity that provides support to children diagnosed with cancer, helped my family as well as my brother.

"We have pictures of my brother smiling during the very difficult treatment he had to endure as a result of the distractions they provided.

"My brother tells me that not all of his friends from hospital came through the treatment but they all had times of happiness together.”

Kathryn added: “I cannot imagine how frightening it must have been to be to really ill when you're small, but I know how much better I feel when my mum is there to care for me when I'm not well. LATCH helps the families of children stay close to the hospital so they don't feel that they're left alone at such a frightening time.

“I felt that I needed to do something to support LATCH not just for helping my family but all the other families across Wales.”

She added that despite the heavy rain and bitterly cold wind she was determined to finish the sponsored run that she created herself.

“It was very cold waiting to start the run but once I started I just wanted to keep running," she said.

"It then started to pour down with rain, but having my friends join me made me persevere and complete the course”.

All the girls completed the course and have managed to raise £489.49 in aid of LATCH.

Alison Morgan, Kathryn's mum, added: “Our families asked their friends to donate and asked around in work and Kathryn also set up a fundraising page, through which funds go directly to the LATCH Charity.

“We’d like to thank everyone who kindly helped us and donated.”

The girls also have their eyes set on more fundraising in the future for local charities.

To sponsor the girls go to: http://www.justgiving.com/Kathryn-Morgan6

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