Lindsey Blackburn, 30, has kick started the ultimate challenge with the first of her ‘Mile2marathon’ events to help tiny babies at the neonatal intensive care unit at James Cook.
Intrepid Lindsey from Middlesbrough is doing five events to raise money for the unit which cares for tiny babies born early or sick.
Around 400 babies a year are cared for in three separate areas, intensive care, high dependency and special care on the unit at Middlesbrough hospital. Their stay may be only for a few days for support, or it may be for several weeks.
A cause close to her heart as cousin Andrea Breckon’s twins – Oscar and Ted – were born 12 weeks prematurely in October and cared for on the unit for eight to nine weeks. Lindsey is aiming to raise £3,000 for a twin cot.
Lindsey and Andrea were joined by family and friends – including Ted and Oscar – for the first event, a one mile fun run /walk around Albert Park on Sunday 24 April 2016.
She is also doing the Ali Brownlee Cleveland Centre 5k on 5 June 2016, Taylor Wimpey Middlesbrough Tees Pride on 4 September, Redcar Half Marathon, 25 September and completing her challenge with a marathon she is organising herself in November along the Cleveland Way.
Andrea, 39, from Linthorpe and husband Colin are encouraging everyone to have a go to help the unit and its dedicated staff.
Andrea said: “We hope people will join in the fun and take part and do a distance they are comfortable with. Our family and friends will be joining in too and we are very grateful for everyone’s support.
“The unit was trying out a special twin cot. Parents were incredibly grateful for it and it was also well received by the staff. I wanted to provide the unit with their own as it would benefit future parents and babies and be more convenient and avoid the need for sharing.”
Jane Hall ward manager said: “We wish Lindsey all the best and very grateful to her for taking on this massive challenge to help the unit and to Andrea and Colin for supporting us. Our own twin cot will be a massive help and benefit the tiny babies we care for.”