AN INSPIRATIONAL mum is putting on her running shoes to help other children like her daughter who was born with no eyes.
Fran Condry, 29, is in training for the 26 mile London Marathon in April in honour of her daughter Mia, four.
She was born without eyes and with Cerebral Palsy. Mia is unable to walk or talk but she is always smiling and loves music and dancing.
Fran, who also has a three-month-old boy called Leonardo, said: “We didn’t find out Mia had no eyes until she was born.
“We were told it was just swelling.”
Little Mia collapsed soon after birth and was rushed to intensive care.
“My husband Dean is really supportive,” she added.
“It was a shock but we just got on with it.”
The couple were helped by a charity called MACS, a small group run by parents.
They help families affected by microphthalmia, a disorder in which one or both eyes are abnormally small, and anopthalmia, which is the absence of one or both eyes.
Both disorders are rare and develop during pregnancy.
Fran is runnning to raise money for MACS with her close friend Katherine Murphy, 27, of Coton Park.
“It is incredible to see the effects that MACS has on the children and families that it supports,” said Fran.
“MACS provide grants to children to go towards a variety of equipment to help them lead more independent lives.
“Any support and donations you are able to give will be massively appreciated by this relatively small charity.”
The friends said it will help to make all the training and hard work so worthwhile.
“They have been amazing,” said Fran, who is a teacher.
“Mia is so much fun. She gets frustrated when she can’t do things but she’s always smiling and loves dancing to the group Rizzle Kicks.”
She said people do stare at Mia.
“They think she’s asleep,” said Fran.
“The only thing that is upsetting is when people talk to me and not Mia.”
Her friend paid tribute to the family.
Katherine said: “The way Fran handles having two children, a job and training for the marathon is incredible.
“She hasn’t complained once. Fran’s an inspiration.”
She said running doesn’t come naturally to either of them.
Katherine added: “The sponsorship we are receiving from such kind hearted people really helps to spur us on in our training, especially on the cold and wet early morning runs!
“I have seen first-hand how MACS has helped one family cope with a child born blind, often with no prior warning before birth. The way Fran and Dean have handled this challenge is nothing short of amazing, and this has been helped by the support they have received from MACS.”
To sponsor Fran and Katherine, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/miarocket