Selina Walkley takes on marathon for Great Ormond Street
The mother of a Bishop's Stortford schoolboy who received life-saving treatment at Great Ormond Street is running the London Marathon to show her gratitude to the world-famous children's hospital.
Selina Walkley, 47, aims to raise £2,000. She has hosted a variety of money-spinners, including a cake stall at the town's Baptist church and a clothes swap-shop party at her Thorley Park home, where she lives with husband Andrew and their children Rebecca, 15, and Dominic, 13.
She raised £100 by running a tuck shop at Bishop's Stortford Musical Theatre Company (BSMTC) Youth's recent production of Hairspray. Selina, who is in the adult faction of BSMTC, was helping out behind the scenes while Rebecca and Dominic featured in the production.
Seven years ago, Dominic – now a pupil at Bishop's Stortford High School – was rushed to GOSH after doctors discovered he had an 8cm cyst on his spleen. He had keyhole surgery to remove a part of the organ.
"I wanted to pay them back for what they did for me and for my family," Selina said. "We feel really blessed he's such a healthy, happy boy."
Dominic has since made a full recovery but underwent surgery again in December – this time at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow – to have his appendix removed after suffering appendicitis.
Selina was given an unwelcome reminder of how scary it is to be a parent of a child in hospital. "When I get dark moments in my training, I think about the kids at Great Ormond Street," she said.
Selina, who last year did her first marathon, in Brighton, is a member of the Girls Go Running Facebook group, which is how she met Natasha Evans. The pair have been training together and have completed the Bedford 20, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Cambridge half marathons.