Nicola and Phil set for Great North

Nicola Gibson with Phil Bentham. The pair are running the Great North Run to raise money for NDCS, a charity supporting deaf children.
Nicola Gibson with Phil Bentham. The pair are running the Great North Run to raise money for NDCS, a charity supporting deaf children.
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THE mum of an inspirational youngster who has beaten the odds to hear and speak is running to thank the charity that has supported her family.

Adorable Liv Unwin, who featured in the Mail yesterday, was diagnosed with the rare hearing condition Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder after being born three months premature.

Nicola Gibson with Phil Bentham. The pair are running the Great North Run to raise money for NDCS, a charity supporting deaf children.

Nicola Gibson with Phil Bentham. The pair are running the Great North Run to raise money for NDCS, a charity supporting deaf children.

Her mum, Nicola Gibson, 35, was warned Liv may never be able to hear or talk.

But at just three-years-old, the youngster has remarkably started to speak already and has blocks where she hears clearly.

Nicola now wants to do her bit to thank the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), who have supported the family and she will be joined by her best friend, Phil Bentham, as they aim to complete this year’s Great North Run.

The kindhearted pair will be running in the world’s biggest half marathon in the hope of raking in at least £450 in sponsorship. That target seems very reachable considering they have already raised more than £180 and the race is still six months away.

“The charity has just been absolutely amazing for Liv and for our family in supporting us,” said supermarket worker Nicola, who lives in the Rossmere area of Hartlepool and is also a mum of Brogan, 10. “I thought this was one way of giving something back just to try and show how grateful I am.

“Having a child who has her hearing impaired opens your eyes to the things we are all ignorant towards.

“Having a disability doesn’t stop anybody from doing anything, it puts complications in place but it doesn’t stop people from reaching their potential.”

For both Nicola and Phil, the Great North Run will be a first, but both are looking forward to the challenge.

Phil, 33, who works at Triage, in Maritime House, was the winner of the Mail’s Weigh Forward competition and the race is another chance to demonstrate how his fitness has improved over the last year.

But for the dad-of-two, it’s all about raising as much as he can for NDCS.

Phil, who lives off Brierton Lane, with his partner, Mark, 39, and their two children, Keaton, 11, and five-year-old JJ, said: “We know it’s going to be tough but it’s supporting a fantastic cause.

“We are already absolutely delighted with the support we have been getting.”

To support Phil and Nicola in their challenge visit www.justgiving.com/Nicola-Philip-Liv.