Mum tackles Great North Run in memory of brave daughter

A North Tyneside mum is taking on the Great North Run to raise money for charity in memory of her daughter.

Thursday, 7th September 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 11:01 am
Irina Ihemere, who is taking part in Sundays Great North Run.

Irina Ihemere is running the half-marathon on Sunday for blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan in memory of her daughter, Katia, who died from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

The 48-year-old bank manager, from Wideopen, said: “It’s hard to explain what it means to be part of Team Anthony Nolan.

“As a mother, I’ve been on a bitter journey for years now. But I remember the hope that Anthony Nolan gave us, the little ray of sunshine in the midst of darkness.”

Katia was diagnosed with ALL nine-and-a-half years ago, just a couple of days before her 16th birthday.

She was in the middle of her GCSEs at the time but refused to give up studying and completed her exams in hospital – receiving a remarkable 11 A*s and an A.

In September 2010, she went to study aeronautical engineering at Loughborough University. However, she sadly relapsed at the end of her first year and died following six months of intensive treatment and a bone marrow transplant.

Irina said: “Katia was a really amazing person. I know she was very grateful for the chance she’d been given and I hope to make her proud.

“She tried so hard to be the best she could. I hope many people will be kind enough to support this wonderful charity in her memory.”

You can sponsor Irina at Nolan finds and matches donors with patients with blood cancers and disorders who need life-saving stem cell transplants.

To find out more about Anthony Nolan, or to join the stem cell register, visit