A little east Belfast girl’s battle with Crohn’s disease has inspired a fundraising effort that has netted more than £3,600 for charity.
The team behind the bid exceeded their original target for the Crohn's and Colitis (UK) charity by more than 700%.
Six-year-old Eden Haycock was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in September 2009 and her mother, Lisa, decided to take part in the Newtownards Half Marathon in July to raise funds for the charity that provided support to her after the diagnosis.
Lisa teamed up with friends Andy and Lucy Reid, from Bangor, for the fundraising run.
Following a report in the Community Telegraph in the run-up to the event, fellow east Belfast mother Lesa McCart, whose daughter also suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, contacted the group and organised a fundraiser at Newtownbreda High School, which raised over £650.
Lisa Haycock thanked all who donated and said: “We are delighted to be able to give back to Crohn's and Colitis UK and hope that we will contribute in some way to helping others who are suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases.
“Before being diagnosed, Eden became very ill. Going to the toilet was agony, she was passing a lot of blood and she became underweight and lethargic.
“She was eventually admitted to hospital, where she received a blood transfusion and underwent investigative procedures to try to determine what was wrong.
“This led to Eden being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and after trying several treatments and another stay in hospital she now takes four medications each day, which she will be on for the rest of her life.
“Following her diagnosis, I contacted Crohn's and Colitis UK who provided a great deal of information and useful tips for coping with Eden’s condition. The advice we received has made life easier, and the charity has been a great support to me over the past year.
“We were delighted to hear from Lesa, whose daughter has the same condition as Eden, and have been very impressed by the amount she has managed to raise in a very short period of time.”
Lisa said the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Northern Ireland, where Andy and Lucy work, had contributed £810 through its Matched Giving scheme.
“We have been absolutely amazed by the kindness of family, friends, colleagues — and complete strangers — who have supported our efforts with such generosity,” she added.