Chris pulls on his running shoes to help little Sienna

Sienna Thomson
Sienna Thomson
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A BUSINESSMAN dug out his running shoes after 25 years to tackle the Asics London 10k to aid research into a disabling condition suffered by his five-year-old daughter.

Chris Thomson, Managing Director of Robinson Hornsby Estate Agents in Doncaster and Tickhill was encouraged to do the run, on Sunday, by his sister Sally Stewart and the pair of them have raised over £2,000 so far for RETT UK.

Chris’ daughter Sienna was diagnosed with the severe neurological condition at around a year old and, although able to walk at the moment, will probably be wheelchair dependent in the future.

“Rett syndrome almost exclusively affects girls - approximately 1 in 12 – 15,000,” explained Chris.

“ At birth and up to the age of about 18 months all appears fine but then the child starts to regress and lose previous skills. At around 12-18 months Sienna became a lot less stable on her feet and lost her dexterity. She also developed a lot of repetitive hand movements, which is common in RETT sufferers.”

Although RETT syndrome is, said Chris, the most common form of severe disability among girls, very few people have heard of it - including Chris’ own GP.

There is, he said, currently no treatment for the condition but researchers had managed to reverse the symptoms in tests on mice. “The money Sally and I raise will go towards further research so that future sufferers may be able to be treated,” he said.

While sister, Sally (47), is quite a keen runner, Chris confessed it was around 25 years since he last ran any distance.

“Sally discovered there were places available for RETT UK for Sunday’s run so I agreed to run with her.

“I spent three to four months going out jogging and we set ourselves a target of completing the course within an hour. We managed it in 57 minutes, so we were pleased with that.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to Chris and Sally can do so via www.justgiving.com/SallyFStewart.