THE parents of little Benjamin Carr are running miles for their son.
Eleven-month-old Benjamin has a rare bladder condition and needs specialist treatment which can only be provided at a Manchester hospital.
It means his parents often have to sleep in an old, broken chair at his bedside at Pendlebury Children’s Hospital.
So to raise money towards building a new children’s hospital Matt and Jane Carr, of Denby Dale, will don their running shoes and take part in the Great Manchester Run.
Mr Carr, 42, said: “Even though we are surrounded by hospitals in the Huddersfield area there are none specialist enough to care for Benjamin’s condition.
“There are only two hospitals in the country – and probably only four in the world – which could care for him.
“We know what it is like to be away from home and sleeping on a chair next to his bed. That is why we are running in support of this appeal, as it will help families like ours by providing beds for parents on the wards across the new children’s hospice.”
Benjamin was born with bladder exstrophy, which means his bladder is in the wrong place and inside out.
At just three months old he had a 13-hour operation which involved breaking his hips.
He remained in the Pendlebury hospital for six weeks and each night his parents took it in turns to sleep beside him.
The other stayed at home with their three-year-old son, William.
Poorly children from throughout the region are admitted to the Manchester hospital for specialist treatment that local hospitals are unable to provide.
But it is old and crumbling and an appeal was launched in 2006 to raise £20m for a state-of-the-art hospital.
Work on the centre is under way and it is set to open next year.
But the fundraising continues and money raised will help to provide facilities for children and their parents.
Mr Carr, a company director at Maloney Ventures bakery suppliers in Barnsley, said: “The team at Manchester really are pioneers.
“They are doing so much research into the condition because there is not a long history of operations in this field.
“They and the doctors at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London are the only experts we’ve got and we want to do whatever we can to support them.
“Hopefully, in doing the run we will raise money for the new children’s hospital and provide better facilities for the children and for parents when they stay.”
The couple have been training for months and will take to the streets of Manchester on May 18 for the 10-kilometre (six miles) run.
Jane Carr, 36, said: “Although Matt regularly runs a few kilometres in the week this really will be a challenge and I’m aiming to beat him across the finish line.
“This is the furthest either of us have ever run, but I am sure the sore legs and blisters will help towards making a difference.”
To sponsor Matt and Jane and support the children’s hospital appeal visit www.justgiving.com/mattandjanecarr