AN INSPIRATIONAL girl, whose family was told she may never walk, is defying all the odds by taking on a three-mile run.

Despite warnings about her mobility when she was born, Tullibody’s Hope Gilmour has become a keen runner and sports enthusiast.

And the determined 11-year-old has signed up for the Edinburgh 5km Big Fun Run in a bid to raise money for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).

Practice for her ambition of participating in London Marathon when she turns 16, she and mum Louisa Micallef want to give something back to the organisation that gave them much-needed support.

Hope was originally diagnosed with clicky hips as a baby but doctors later discovered she actually 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.

However, she showed signs of fighting back early on – standing up at 10 months and walking on her first birthday.

Louisa, 34, 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.

“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.

“Since then, her achievements have been astonishing. She’s been in her school running club since P3 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.”

Having surpassed all expectations, Hope – who wants to be a doctor to help children like herself when she is an adult, or a vet – and Louisa will take on the 3 mile event for ECHC.

The charity, which was selected by Hope herself, supports the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and helped the family to have a positive experience during what was a difficult time.

ECHC funds a volunteer service to ensure families are supported and comforted and enables parents and carers to feel relaxed and recharged.

It also funds distractions, filling the playrooms with books and toys so that children and young people feel less scared during a hospital visit.

Louisa continued: “If it hadn’t been for ECHC, I don’t know what we would have done when Hope was in hospital.

"The work of the charity was so vital to us during this stressful time.

“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.

She added: “People don’t realise that many of the excellent facilities and services at the RHSC are funded by the charity, so we’re running the Edinburgh 5K Big Fun Run to raise awareness of their incredible work.

"And if we can raise some money at the same time, even better.”

Rachel Baxter, director of fundraising and marketing at ECHC, said the organisation was thankful to Hope and Louisa for choosing them as their cause, wishing them the very best of luck.

She added: “The fact that Hope is taking part in this run is such a testament to her strength and determination and is really inspirational to us." 

Hope and Louisa are running the Edinburgh 5K Big Fun Run on Sunday, July 30.

Visit their JustGiving page to donate.