A team of five will be taking part in the Paris Marathon this Sunday in memory of six-week-old Macy who died from the heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy.
Macy’s mum Helen Cruickshanks, 39, of Leverstock Green, will be teaming up with brother-in-law Paul Kenny and supporters Tanya Dalton, Amy Heathfield and Jack Davis, all from Hemel Hempstead, for the marathon.
The event promises to be an emotional one for Helen and her friends, who have thrown themselves into fundraising in memory of Macy.
They will be raising money for the Cardiomyopathy Association, a charity that provides information and support to families affected by the disease.
Macy arrived smoothly into the world in November 2102, a baby sister for Libby, seven, and Sam, four. But when she was just two weeks old Helen, a part-time district nurse, and husband Paul spotted a blue tinge to her complexion, which gradually became grey.
She was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart muscle to thicken, causing heart rhythm and pumping problems.
Macy was admitted to London’s Royal Brompton Hospital where doctors said her heart condition was so severe she would not survive. She died just before Christmas that year.
Helen said: “Macy was such a special baby and we refuse to let her life mean nothing. So we are making sure that Macy’s name is remembered, including in our fundraising.”
The family is supported by Team Macy, more than 1,100 people who have followed Macy’s story and helped raise money and awareness of children’s heart diseases.
Helen added: “We have already raised £20,000 which we have given to the hospital for their amazing care. We are now trying to raise more money, this time for the Cardiomyopathy Association who gives support to sufferers of this horrid disease and their families.”
Helen, who did no running until training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October, where she raised £1,000, says she has found running to be therapeutic.
She said: “If I’m having a bad day, I just run a little harder. I run three times a week and have now reached 16 miles. I’m pretty confident I won’t be ‘hitting the wall’ in Paris. If I ever get upset I just run even harder, thinking of Macy.”
“My aim is to help prevent other families going through the devastation of losing a child. No parent should have their lives ripped apart by this illness.”
Now Helen and her marathon team are looking for sponsors and supporters. Go to their Just Giving page by clicking here
For more information about cardiomyopathy see the Cardiomyopathy Association’s website www.cardiomyopathy.org