Fifteen-year-old Brooke has been a patient at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) since the day she was born. Brooke underwent lifesaving surgery at 11 days old to remove a huge pelvic tumour. Brooke has undergone more operations than birthdays including more recent surgery to place titanium rods and screws into her spine to keep it from slipping out of place.
Last year Brooke was just old enough, by 2 days, to take on the Manchester 10k but under doctors orders she was unable to run it as her spine hadn’t fused. This didn’t stop her though. She completed the 6.2 mile city centre route, power-walking with her surgeon Mr Bruce by her side.
This year is different for Brooke because sport is very much back on the agenda, though running is tricky due to issues with her feet (give her a bike any day!) Brooke is determined to increase the number of people in her team making it even bigger and better than last year. She has launched “Brooke’s Barmy Army” and is recruiting as many people as possible to join her on the day.
So far she has recruited 45 people. 15 of these are attempting to run the 10k and 30 brass band buddies will be taking along their instruments and parping a tune or two to the enthusiastic onlookers as they make their way round the route. Brooke and her friends don’t do things by halves!
Brooke says, “I have seen a lot whilst spending time in hospital and one thing I’ve learnt is the NHS are unable to fund lots of resources that would make a child’s stay in hospital a more pleasurable one. This is where my fundraising efforts come in. Along with my team, we aim to raise money to buy equipment that will help fellow patients. As a child, spending time in hospital can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I hope my fundraising can help provide resources for children and their families that can make them smile whilst at RMCH”
“This will be a challenge for not only me but for all those who have agreed to be part of my team. We aim to raise awareness of the fantastic work that goes on at RMCH and raise money to help others. I’m hoping a big sea of green, marching through the streets of Manchester will achieve that!”
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Brooke & her Barmy Army xx