Two mums are gearing up for the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May to raise funds for the unit that helped keep their premature babies alive.
Andie Tweedie, 28, and Louise Higginson, 37, met while their children were being treated at the Simpson Special Care Baby Unit in Edinburgh last year.
Now the friends from Mayfield in Dalkeith are set to run 13 miles in a bid to raise £1000 between them for the neonatal unit.
Part-time leisure assistant Andie explained why the registered charity is so important to her. She said: “My daughter Niamh was born 12 weeks early. The support the unit gave us was amazing. They went above and beyond.
“We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know if everything was going to be alL right.
“She was in for eight weeks in total – a fortnight in intensive care, three weeks in high dependency and three weeks in special care.
“Niamh was on a ventilator to start with, but the equipment is upgrading all the time. If that equipment wasn’t there then she might not be here today.’’
Andie did a 5k run for the unit last year, and the money raised went to the unit to help upgrade equipment as well as buying items that it needed. Despite living a stone’s throw from each other, the pair only met at the unit.
Andie said: “Louise’s son goes to school with my daughter and we didn’t realise that until we met in the unit. ‘We just got chatting and realised we were both from Mayfield and that our kids were in the same class . . . and she only lives two seconds from me.”
Accounts assistant Louise explained why she was doing the charity run. She said: “My son Blair spent two weeks in the special care baby unit. The work they do is beyond brilliant. It’s not just your child, they look after you as well.
“I want to do what I can for them to make sure other parents get the same treatment we got. It’s close to my heart. They are just amazing.”
And as for the half marathon?
“I’m quite confident we will manage it, but I don’t know how I will be at the end,” said Louise.
“Training is not bad. I have got two kids so I’m running about all the time. It’s just finding the time. But we have made a start anyway.”
Lee Picken, chair of Simpsons Special Care Babies said: “Andie has been a really good supporter of the charity. It’s people like her who make such a difference. That’s where all our money comes from. It’s important we have people like Andi and Louise because otherwise we wouldn’t exist.”
To donate go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/marathonmummies