Parents to take on Great North Run in memory of Charlie Cookson

Chris and Sarah Cookson
Chris and Sarah Cookson

A South Tyneside couple will be in the running to raise cash for a charity set up in their son’s name.

Christopher and Sarah Cookson will be putting themselves through their paces when they take part in the Great North Run on Sunday September 10.

Charlie Cookson

Charlie Cookson

The couple - who founded The Charlie Cookson Foundation after their son Charlie died aged two - are aiming to raise as much cash as possible for the cause.

The charity aims to provide support to families of children with life-limiting conditions by raising awareness of their needs, campaigning for better care services and providing financial aid.

Sarah said: “Parents need to be able to care for their poorly child without worrying about paying their bills.

“The Charlie Cookson Foundation can help to relieve some of that financial pressure so parents can focus on supporting the needs of their brave child.”

We’ve supported 42 families across the UK

Christopher Cookson

From the moment Charlie was born, doctor told his parents it was unlikely he would live a long life.

For the first nine-weeks of his life he was on the special care baby unit. Over the next two years, he underwent regular hospital treatment for muscle and bone problems and suffered from a blood disorder.

Christopher said: “We watched our son get weaker and weaker although he was growing, but we made every day our mission to help Charlie through sensory development or muscle development; we never knew if something was going to work but we would try everything in our power.”

Between 2011 and 2012, Charlie was in and out of the intensive care unit due to breathing difficulties, life-threatening infections and epileptic seizures.

In the autumn of 2013, the seizures worsened and Charlie’s condition rapidly deteriorated, despite the medication and ventilation he was receiving.

Christopher added: “We understand how difficult life can become when you have to reduce your working hours or even leave your employment as your child requires 24-hour care.

“So far, we have supported 42 families all over the UK and donated approximately £170,000.”

This will be Christopher’s fourth Great North Run, Sarah is running the half marathon for the first time.

For details on supporting the Charlie Cookson Foundation, visit charliecookson.org.uk

For details about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit greatrun.org/great-north- run