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Truro mum takes on marathon in sister’s memory

By WBEsme  |  Posted: March 08, 2014

  • Determined mum: Katie Russell preparing for the London marathon.

  • Much loved: Michaela “Mickie” Curtis.

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AN INSPIRATIONAL mum from Truro will be running in the Virgin Money London Marathon next month in memory of her beloved sister.

Katie Russell will be hitting London’s gruelling 26.4 mile course on April 13 to raise money for the charity Epilepsy Research.

The mum of three, whose youngest son, Harry, is not even a year old, has been undertaking months of intensive training.

Mrs Russell said: “I’m not a runner by nature, and I’m also training around looking after my 3 young children, so this is a huge challenge for me.

“But I’ve got some really encouraging and supportive friends who come training with me.”

All of the 28 year-olds hard work has been undertaken in memory of her sister, Michaela “Mickie” Curtis, who died in her sleep twelve years ago after suffering an epileptic fit.

Michaela, who was a pupil at Truro School, died during her summer holiday shortly before her fifteenth birthday.

Mrs Russell said: “Mickie died aged 14 from sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP) back in 2002.

“She just had a big fit in the night and never woke up.

“She was sporty – she played for the school hockey team and Cornwall athletics.

“She was popular and really friendly and bubbly – she was always smiling.”

Michaela’s death devastated the family who weren’t aware of the dangers of SUDEP.

Since then they have all carried out various fundraising activities for Epilepsy Research, with the aim of raising awareness about SUDEP, which kills between 500 and 1,000 people in the UK each year.

Mrs Russell first applied for the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2012 to mark the 10 year anniversary of her sister’s death.

But it has been third time lucky for the determined mum who was this year given one of five golden bond places from the charity.

She said: “I feel honoured and really happy to try and raise as much money for the charity as I can.

“I’m quite nervous now and excited. My family are coming up with me and my eldest daughter Hollie is coming to watch me.

“I’ve got a running vest from the charity so that will help me through.”

Miss Russell, who has so far raised £600 of her £1,500 target, has attributed her success to the love and support of her husband Dan Russell, and her three children, Hollie, George and Harry.

Donations to Miss Russell’s cause can be made at www.justgiving.com/katie-russell3.

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