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[p][b][u]Alison’s story[/u][/b][/p][p]When our daughter Eva was just 10 months old, a GP discovered a heart murmur during a routine check-up.[/p][p]Within days she was booked in for surgery at Birmingham Children’s Hospital to correct a condition known as patent ductus arteriosis (PDA), a problem that occurs when a valve of the heart fails to close after birth.[/p][p]PDA causes abnormal blood flow between two major arteries, putting strain on the heart and increasing blood pressure in the lungs.[/p][p]Needless to say, it was one of the most frightening times of our lives. [/p][p]The doctors and nurses were fantastic and today, I’m delighted to say, Eva is a perfectly normal, happy and fighting fit five-year-old.[/p][p]We know we were lucky, but other families aren’t so fortunate. Though paediatric research is severely underfunded in the UK, for many seriously ill children research is their only hope – and that’s where Sparks comes in.[/p][p]Working with Great Ormond Street Hospital and raising money to fund pioneering child health research, the charity’s mission is to find new treatments and cures for children and families who desperately need them.[/p][p]Since 1991, it has funded more than 300 ground-breaking child health research projects in more than 90 hospitals, universities and research institutions across the UK and overseas.[/p][p]Every child matters and every penny counts towards achieving Sparks’ aim of improving survival rates and quality of life for youngsters with rare and complex conditions.[/p][p]Please support this worthy cause - your generosity is much appreciated.[/p][p]Thank you for visiting my page and taking the time to read my story. I know it will inspire me during the most difficult stages of those 26.2 miles![/p][p]Lots of love [/p][p]Alison xxxx[/p][p] [/p]