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Mum raises more than £2,000 in memory of baby James with 20 mile run

PUBLISHED: 13:41 05 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 June 2018

Louise Saunders and Susie Ash presenting the cheque to EACH after she ran 20 miles in memory of baby James Thorndyke. Photo: Susie Ash

Louise Saunders and Susie Ash presenting the cheque to EACH after she ran 20 miles in memory of baby James Thorndyke. Photo: Susie Ash

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A mum has raised more than £2,000 in memory of a baby who died just before his first birthday by running 20 miles.

Louise Saunders ran 20 miles in memory of baby James Thorndyke. Photo: Susie AshLouise Saunders ran 20 miles in memory of baby James Thorndyke. Photo: Susie Ash

Louise Sanders, 28, who described herself as “not really a runner” set off from her home in Tharston, near Long Stratton, and took the long route through the south Norfolk countryside, smashing her £1,000 goal in the process.

She said: “I was very worried about the run as I had a knee injury two weeks before the run so I wasn’t able to run a long distance run before the day.

“But it went fantastically - my knees didn’t let me down and I managed to do it in three and half hours, a little more than I wanted to but it was 18 degrees when I set out.

“I’m so chuffed with raising over £2,000. It’s such an achievement for my self and something for my mum, husband and children to be proud of.”

Louise Saunders after she ran 20 miles in memory of baby James Thorndyke. Photo: Susie AshLouise Saunders after she ran 20 miles in memory of baby James Thorndyke. Photo: Susie Ash

In February 2017, James Thorndyke died just five days before his first birthday of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID).

Since then James’ parents, Susie Ash and Justin Thorndyke, from Forncett St Mary, near Diss, have been campaigning in their son’s memory to raise awareness of the condition and to make screening for the disease normal practice in the UK.

Louise is a close friend of Susie and was inspired to do something by the family’s story.

She said: “I thought I would like to something for Susie and Justin just to keep James’ memory going and for EACH.”

Baby James Thorndyke and his mother Susie Ash. James died just before his first birthday of a rare genetic condiditon - severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Photo: SubmittedBaby James Thorndyke and his mother Susie Ash. James died just before his first birthday of a rare genetic condiditon - severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Photo: Submitted

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice cared for James in his final days and have been a constant source of support for his parents since his death.

Susie added: “It means so much to us.

“We have been so determined that James would not be forgotten.

“Obviously I know we cannot help our James, unfortunately the awareness wasn’t there.

Parents, Susie Ash and Justin Thorndyke are campaigning for the heel prick test to include screen for SCID. Thier son James Thorndyke died earlier this year just before his 1st birthday folliowing a battle with the disorder.Parents, Susie Ash and Justin Thorndyke are campaigning for the heel prick test to include screen for SCID. Thier son James Thorndyke died earlier this year just before his 1st birthday folliowing a battle with the disorder.

“But awareness is absolutely vital, for normal people who haven’t heard of the condition but also doctors.

“If it can save one more life then it’s worth it, James’ memory can help others.”

To donate to Louise Saunders’ fundraising campaign, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-saunders16

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