A CROSSGATES woman is taking to the streets of London next weekend.

On Sunday April 22, Leanne Spence, is running in the London Marathon for a cause very dear to her heart.

She is raising funds for the Edinburgh Children's Hospital in recognition of the work the staff of the hospital have done for her daughter, Hope, since she was born 12 years ago.

When mum of three Leanne, and husband Andrew, from Hillview Place, put their names in the ballot along with 350,000 others for the chance to be part of the London Marathon they did not think they had a chance of being chosen to take part.

But Leanne's name came out of the selection system and she will be running the 26 miles hoping to raise a lot of money for the Children's Hospital.

She said: "Hope was in the hospital for virtually the first two years of her life, through her condition, but the staff were brilliant and while she still has to make a few trips across there, the quality of the treatment is top class.

"We both wanted to run in the London Marathon for the hospital but we were realistic enough to know that if one of our names came out it would be a bonus, but Andrew will be down there next Sunday to give me support.

"It will be my first marathon but I am looking forward to the challenge and getting the opportunity to run in such a fantastic atmosphere will be truly memorable."

Having taken part in a few half marathons, Leanne knows that this will be a whole lot different, but she has been doing an intensive training schedule which included a 20 mile run from her own front door in Crossgates to the front door of the Children's Hospital.

Even the Beast from the East could stop her preparations: "We managed to dig out a track and I managed to do a good few miles on it while the snow lay thick which kept things ticking over.

"So I am really looking forward to getting down to London and being part of this huge event."

While Leanne is simply taken aback by the fact that she will be on the same track as multi Olympic gold medallist, Sir Mo Farah, her aim is to get around the course and raise as much money as she can for the Edinburgh Children's Hospital.

"People have been very generous with their donations so far and I am hoping I can raise £1,000," she added.

"Hope has been telling me I can run the 26 miles without any trouble but I am sure that there will be a few difficult moments but the crowds of people watching will be a big help to all the runners."

Leanne would welcome backing for her fundraiser for the Children's Hospital and her link is everydayheroes.comedinburghchildren'shospital and search for Leanne Spence.