A soldier from Sunderland is getting ready to take on the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon to say thank you to the doctors and nurses who saved his three-month-old daughter’s life.

Michael Campbell will tackle the 26 mile track around Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Reservoir on Sunday, 10th October, hoping to raise enough money to pay for a new baby changing unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

His daughter, Millie May Campbell, was born prematurely on May 28th and at only 35-weeks old she was admitted to the neo-natal unit at the hospital after problems breathing.

She received treatment and eventually returned home. However, Millie sadly became poorly again and had to be rushed to hospital.

Doctors and nurses resuscitated her three times and she was later diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

She spent time in Sunderland Royal Hospital under specialist care and on a high dependency unit however is now back at home, recovering, and doing well.

Michael and his fiancée Kayley have been by Millie’s side throughout her treatment and although they’ve faced many battles they remain positive and wanted to try to give something back to the staff at the hospital.

Michael said: “Unfortunately we have had to spend lots of time in various wards and units at Sunderland Royal Hospital and the one thing that has remained constant throughout has been the incredible work the staff there have done for us.

“They’ve saved Millie’s life and thanks to them she is still here with us and fighting on. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for my family but I wanted to try by doing the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon and trying to raise some money to pay for a new baby changing unit for the ward that Millie was on.

“I’m currently serving in the Army and am quite a fit person anyway but Kielder will be my first ever marathon and a fantastic challenge for me. I’m really looking forward to it and if I can raise some money for Sunderland Royal Hospital at the same time then that would be amazing.”

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2017 is run by Events of the North, a company led by Olympians Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley, in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, and Northumberland County Council.

Race director Steve Cram said: “The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon will be a real test for Michael and I wish him the best of luck in completing it. His story is incredibly moving and I hope lots of people get behind him and support him with his fantastic cause.”

The weekend’s events are all based around Northumbrian Water’s picturesque Kielder Reservoir and waterside sites and whether it’s the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k or the Run Bike Run, the views for athletes and spectators are spectacular.

David Hall, Head of Leisure Strategy at Northumbrian Water, said: “I want to wish Michael good luck for the marathon but I also want to wish his family and little Millie all the best for the future. The staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital do an incredible job and what Michael is doing for them is fantastic.”

County Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure, and Culture, said: “It is easy to see why the Kielder Marathon has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar with inspirational people just like Michael setting themselves new personal challenges while raising money for worthwhile causes in the process. I wish Michael the very best on the day and hope that those who are able to support his fantastic fundraising efforts, do so.”

Information on Michael’s Kielder Challenge can be found on Facebook @sunderlandchildrensward

To donate to Michael’s Just Giving cause visit https://goo.gl/ojD8DD

For more information on the events taking place at Kielder Marathon Weekend 2017 and to book your place visit www.kieldermarathon.com