Army colleagues and nine-foot nurse race to help seriously ill children
A County Durham dad whose daughter has serious health needs will be taking part in the Great North Run for WellChild this Sunday dressed as our mascot Nina the Nurse, alongside a team of his workmates from 8 Rifles.
Paul O’Donovan was inspired to take part after his daughter Lyla won a WellChild Award for her bravery in 2019. Lyla, aged 8, has a brain tumour and has undergone many operations.
Paul, a Corporal, will be wearing the WellChild Nurse mascot, Nina the Nurse in honour of the team of WellChild Children’s Nurses who care for complex needs children across the UK, getting them home from hospital so they can be cared for with their families.
Alongside him will be five fellow soldiers from 8 Rifles, calling themselves the 8 Rifles Misfits, all of whom will be running to raise money for WellChild. Other members of the team are Sean Lennon, David Ridley, Ritchie Udale, Steve McKinley and Gavin Knox.
Paul said: “I wanted to do something for WellChild to give back for all they have done for us. The magical night at the WellChild Awards when Lyla was a winner of the Inspirational Child award will always be in her memories. She danced on stage with Pixie Lott and met Prince Harry, the night was incredible. This run I am doing is so other children get to have those memories.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “We would like to thank Paul and all the rest of the lads for taking part in the Great North Run for WellChild, you can be sure the money they raise will be a great benefit to WellChild’s work for seriously ill children and their families all across the UK.”
The night was incredible. This run I am doing is so other children get to have those memories.