A WALTHAMSTOW woman is is taking part in the Great North Run this weekend to raise money for an Enfield schoolboy left disabled by Meningitis.

Mariama Nish, 42, of St John's Road, has been putting herself through her paces to prepare for the half marathon in Newcastle on Sunday.

She said: "I was diagnosed with high blood pressure this year. It freaked me out. So I wanted to do more to get fit.

"I started by doing 5km runs. I did the 10km race in Walthamstow in March, and the Hackney half marathon in August."

She said she was spurred on to raise money after she met five-year-old Harvey Parry and his mother Carol, of Lilac Avenue, Enfield, at an awards ceremony 18 months ago.

When Harvey was 15 months old, he was admitted to hospital with the deadly virus meningitis meningococcal mepticemia B.

The virus left Harvey having both his legs, three-and-a-half of his right hand fingers amputated with extensive damage and scarring to his whole body leaving his left hand partially paralysed.

His family is now raising money for a specially adapted wheelchair for him.

Mrs Nish said: "It had a big impact on me. I wanted to do something to help.

"The virus is very fightening. I have two young children myself. I want to raise awareness of it.

"The doctors tell you to check for it by running a glass agaisnt the skin. But if you have black skin it is harder to tell, and could be missed.

"The Great North Run is a good way to raise money for him.

"I have been preparing by doing as much running as I can. I go running three times a week at the track near where I live.

"I am looking forward to the challenge."