Alloa girl born with no hips completes charity run

A YOUNG girl from Alloa who was told from birth she may never walk has defied all odds by completing a 5km fundraising run.

Hope Gilmour. Picture: Supplied
Hope Gilmour. Picture: Supplied

Hope Gilmour, 11, was originally diagnosed with clicky hips as a baby but during an operation to resolve this doctors discovered she had no hip sockets at all and would need to have new ones carved.

The family was told Hope may never be able to walk or may walk with a limp following this operation.

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Hope’s mum, Louisa Micallef, said: “After Hope’s first operation where she had new hip sockets carved, she had to be in a full body cast and, after that, we had monthly appointments until she needed a second operation again when she was three.

Hope Gilmour at the finish line. Picture: Supplied

“We weren’t sure what the outcome would be as we’d been told there was a high chance her ability to walk would be affected, so when she was given the all clear at the age of seven, we were absolutely over the moon.

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“Since then, her achievements have been astonishing. She’s been in her school running club since Primary 3 and won her part in the relay in sports day.

“Other parents come to tell me how good she is at running and she has now set herself the goal of running the London Marathon by the age of 16. It’s all just unbelievable.”

Hope Gilmour at the finish line. Picture: Supplied

Now, Hope has surpassed all expectations and run the Edinburgh 5km Big Fun Run alongside her mum Louisa to raise money for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).

The charity supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and helped the family to have a positive hospital experience.

Louisa added: “The run was a challenge for us both as it was the first distance run we have done together, but seeing Hope taking part in something that we once thought wouldn’t be possible was incredible and really helped push me towards the finish line.

“I can’t put into words how proud of her I am and how amazing it was to see her determination to complete the race and raise as much awareness as possible of ECHC.

“People don’t realise that many of the excellent facilities and services at the RHSC are funded by the charity but if it hadn’t been for them, I don’t know what we would have done when Hope was in hospital.

“After her operation, I hated the idea of leaving Hope on her own, but there was always a volunteer to come and sit with her so that I could go and get a coffee or something to eat.

“The Play Specialist always made sure she had toys and games to play with. They even got her a cassette and some headphones so she could listen to music which really cheered her up.

“We were also able to stay in PJs loft - the parents’ accommodation which the charity funds. Hope was only supposed to be in overnight but we ended up staying at the hospital for a week, so having this really helped us.”

Rachel Baxter, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at ECHC, said: “We are so thankful to Hope and Louisa and honoured that they chose us as their charity to support.

“The fact that Hope took part in this run is such a testament to her strength and she is such an inspiration to us.

“At ECHC, we exist to ensure children and young people’s lives are less interrupted by illness and it’s the generosity of those who get involved with us, like Hope and Louisa, which allows us to continue to do this.”

Hope and Louisa’s Edinburgh 5K Big Fun Run is complete but their fundraising page is still open for donations.