Newham youngster defies asthma to help children in Africa

PUBLISHED: 09:57 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:57 19 March 2015

Thalia wanted to do her bit to raise money for those less fortunate than her

Thalia wanted to do her bit to raise money for those less fortunate than her


Running 400 metres as a double-jointed asthma sufferer is no easy feat.

And if you’re only four, you’ve got yourself a real challenge.

But that didn’t stop little Thalia, who decided she wanted to do her bit for Red Nose Day and run a complete circuit of an athletics track to raise money for children in Africa.

Since setting up a Just Giving page before the challenge on Saturday, the Chobham Academy pupil has raised £550.

“Because she’s asthmatic she said she wanted to run,” said proud grandmother, Anna Hannaway.

“We tried to talk her into having a lemonade stall but she said no, because that wouldn’t test her.”

Thalia was born with hypermobility (double jointed) and didn’t walk until she was two.

Anna said her family used to worry how delicate she was and it’s still clear by the way she walks how fragile she is.

“She couldn’t understand why we were so excited for her after she finished the run, she took it all in her stride,” said Anna, 59, of Store Street, Stratford.

“She was watching something on TV about Red Nose Day and asked what it was all about, so her mum explained. Then Thalia said she wanted to help children in Africa who haven’t got the things she has, like schools and extra curricular activities.”

Thalia raised money for the national charity event, organised by Comic Relief, alongside dozens of school children across the borough who “got funny for money” by painting their faces and dressing up.

Thalia ran round the 400m track at the Terence McMillan Stadium, Newham Leisure Centre.

She was surrounded by family cheering her on who then surprised her with an engraved trophy afterwards.

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