Mum Runs Marathon to Make Children’s Dreams Come True

The pain and anguish of losing her first child is now inspiring a Yorkshire woman to help other families facing tragedy and heartbreak.

Nicola Challice, a credit controller, here at Paragon Veterinary Referrals, lost her son Ethan in 2007 when he was just five days old.

She never had the chance to make memories with him but has just run this year’s ‘virtual’ London Marathon, to raise funds to ensure other parents can share precious moments with their critically-ill children.

Nicola, who’s now a mum-of-two, duly completed the 26.2 miles to collect more than £3,000 for the Make a Wish charity, which makes dreams come true for seriously ill children across the UK.

She said: “I wanted to give other families the chance to make long-lasting memories with their children.

“I never had this opportunity with my son but if I can ease someone else’s pain in any way, I will do everything I can.

“That’s why I decided to run my first marathon to raise money for Make a Wish because it’s such an amazing charity doing such amazing things.

“I will never get over losing Ethan. He never got to live any of life’s experiences and my children have everything they need, so to be able to help a critically ill child experience something they have always dreamed of is something quite incredible.”

Covid-19 restrictions meant the usual London Marathon spectacular around the streets of the capital was scrapped, with just elite runners allowed to take part and no spectators allowed.

Thousands of other runners, most of them taking part to help charities and good causes, were encouraged to complete a ‘virtual’ marathon instead.

Nicola chose a route close to her home in Elsecar but, even though it was a far more low-key event than actually taking part in London, she still raised £250 in cash on the day thanks to generous members of the public.

The inspirational 41-year-old added: “I chose the route based on wanting to stay local and it was a lovely little day. Crossing the finishing line was amazing.

“I had a fabulous welcome waiting for me from my partner Paul, my children, my mum, my sister and my friends and a much-needed mug of tea!

“I can honestly say I truly enjoyed the day, the distance and, most of all, I was delighted to have made my contribution to Make a Wish.”

If you’d like to sponsor Nicola, you can visit her JustGiving page at

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