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My marathon inspiration, by mum who runs for son

PUBLISHED: 16:45 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 25 August 2010

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A MOTHER will be running the London Marathon in a bid to help her disabled son play sport.

A MOTHER will be running the London Marathon in a bid to help her disabled son play sport.

Mother-of-two Samantha Bergin Goncalves, 39, from New Eltham, aims to finish the marathon this Sunday in four hours to raise money for charity Get Kids Going!

The charity provides personalised sports wheelchairs for disabled children.

Her eldest son, Shane, 10, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one as a result of contracting meningitis when he was only a day old.

He spent 26 days in intensive care after he was born and has since undergone approximately six operations at Great Ormond Street Hospital in central London.

His mother, who works part-time for Snap, a special needs and disability charity, said: "I know running 26.2 miles is not going to be easy but it's nothing compared to what disabled children like my son have to put up with everyday of their lives.

"He is my inspiration."

She described Shane, who is also blind and who communicates through basic sign language, as extremely affectionate and funny.

"I thought that this would be the first year without him having to go through surgery so I decided to run the marathon," she said.

"But we have since discovered that his hip has become dislocated so he will have to have another operation.

"We will do whatever it takes for him to be mobile. As long as there is something we can do to help him, we will.

"He is so much happier when he is mobile. He is sad and upset when he is not.

"It is very painful to see a child in hospital having surgery but once they recover it is worth it."

Mrs Bergin Goncalves is on target to reach a goal of £1,900, having so far collected more than £1,000.

If you would like to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/samanthabergingoncalves.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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