ENERGETIC Express reporter Katie Butler put her best feet forward on Sunday when she ran 13.2 miles for the Laila Milly Foundation.
The 25-year-old ran the Leeds Half Marathon 2011 to raise funds for the charity, which was set up by Laila’s parents, Steven and Maya McCormack, to transform a building on Kirkby Road, Hemsworth, into a day nursery for children with serious and complex illnesses.
It was intended that Laila would visit the nursery, but she died in March after a 12-month battle with Aicardi syndrome.
Miss Butler, who completed the course in two hours and 30 minutes, raised more than £100 after asking colleagues, family, friends and locals to sponsor her.
Miss Butler, of Armley Ridge Road, Leeds, said: “I wrote about little Laila and thought her parents were so inspirational for setting out to create the nursery and I just wanted to do what I could to help.
“I really enjoy running so I thought this would be a great way to raise funds.”
“It was so hot, which made the run tough, but I just kept remembering why I was doing it and that kept me going.
“It is going to make such a difference to families in the community and I hope others will do their bit to help the charity.”
Mrs McCormack said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received and thank everyone for doing their bit to help the foundation. It really means a lot to us.”
She said they have raised around £18,000 since starting to fundraise in January.
Miss Butler said: “I am really pleased with the money I raised and I hope it helps get the nursery up and running soon.”
The project was initially going to cost around £60,000 but it is now estimated that it will cost around £100,000.
Mr and Mrs McCormack own the building but are waiting for planning permission before they can start work.
To make a donation, drop in at the Express Office, Barnsley Road, South Elmsall, or send a cheque to Head Office, 24 Hayfield Way, Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF7 7RH. Write ‘Hemsworth Wish’ on the back of the cheque to indicate you are an Express reader.
Or visit www.lailamilly foundation.org.uk and click on the ‘donate now’ link.