Paramedic has become ‘Ironmum’

'Ironmum' Sonia Latham with daughter Evie
'Ironmum' Sonia Latham with daughter Evie

‘Ironmum’ Sonia Latham is taking on a challenging triathlon to mark her 40th birthday.

The paramedic, who has been based at Worthing Ambulance Station for the past 15 years, is taking part in Bolton Ironman UK on Sunday as a challenge to herself and to support the Give Gracie a Voice campaign.

Sonia Latham has been nicknamed 'Ironmum' by friends, as she often pushes her daughter Evie around while training

Sonia Latham has been nicknamed 'Ironmum' by friends, as she often pushes her daughter Evie around while training

Sonia, who lives in Angmering, has been nicknamed ‘Ironmum’ by her friends, as she often pushes her daughter Evie in her pushchair while training.

She will have to swim 2.4 miles in open water, cycle 112 miles and then run a marathon – and she must complete it all within 17 hours.

The money raised will go to Give Gracie a Voice through the charity Tree of Hope.

Gracie Faulkner is an eight-year-old Angmering girl with complex disabilities, including hypotonic cerebral palsy and severe speech delay. She has poor mobility, virtually no speech and a neurological age of two.

Mother Alison Faulkner said: “Sonia kindly suggested she take this opportunity to raise funds for my daughter.

“We are doing a brain rehabilitation programme with an American medical centre called the Family Hope Center and have been fundraising in various ways through the charity Tree of Hope to pay the appointment costs.

“Gracie is responding well to the therapy I am doing with her under their guidance. She is recognising more than 150 words, signing and verbalising more, walking more confidently and a bit more independently and interacting with other people much better.”

Sonia, a friend of Alison, said the programme offered hope that the lives of Gracie and her family could be greatly improved.

“I’m turning the big 40 this year. I don’t want to be fat, frumpy and 40, I want to be fit, fabulous and 40,” she said.

“To help motivate me on those dark mornings and long runs, I am making my miles count by raising funds for a little girl who faces challenges every day.

“I love to talk and I’d love to give the gift of speech to Gracie.”

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