SHE may just be 11 years old, but Kaci Emslie is braving a gruelling challenge to help her friend walk.
Young Kaci is currently training to take part in the Blackpool 10k fun run in aid of Chloe’s Wish to Walk – a charity set up to raise money for an operation for Kaci’s friend Chloe New who has cerebral palsy.
The active youngster, while not keen on sports, has been out running with her family, and is already managing a distance of three miles.
She said: “I just wanted to help Chloe; she’s a really nice girl and she deserves to be able to walk.”
Kaci, of Orchard Drive, Fleetwood, said she was enjoying training and looking forward to the race.
“I’ll be thinking of Chloe while I’m doing it,” she said.
“I’m not nervous at all, I think I’ll enjoy it.”
This is the first year people of Kaci’s age have been able to take part in the race along the resort’s Promenade, as organiser Trinity Hospice has lowered the age limit from 13 years old.
But young runners do need to run with an adult, so Kaci is bringing her mum and dad, Maxine and Craig, and brother-in-law Damon Hodge with her.
Maxine, 37, said: “We’re really proud of Kaci.
“Once she gets her mind set on something she just wants to really go for it. She really wanted to do something for Chloe, and she wanted it to be something she would find challenging.
“She’s not really sporty but she’s got stuck into this, despite having a chest complaint herself.”
Kaci, a pupil at Shakespeare Primary School, said her plan for the race was to take things nice and slowly with her mum.
Chloe’s Wish to Walk needs to raise £48,000 for an operation in Missouri, America, at the end of May. Additional funding will be needed for intensive physical therapy following her return to the UK.
This is the first year planning the Beaverbrooks Blackpool 10k Fun Run for Trinity Hospice, which will see all entrance fees supporting the Fylde coast charity.
Trinity’s fundraising director Jane Molyneux said: “We decided to lower the age limit because we know that people have been disappointed in the past, particularly school teams who could not enter their younger runners.
“We have also been approached by several young people keen to train and participate with their parents and it’s great that they can run all together this time.”