Maddison is inspiration for Kirsty to take on the Great South Run

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MOST people suffering from serious conditions at least know the disease they are fighting.

But five-year-old Maddison Cox, from Fareham, doesn’t even have that.

Kirsty Turner  with her god-daughter Maddison Cox

Kirsty Turner with her god-daughter Maddison Cox

Now her godmother Kirsty Turner and four friends are getting ready to race around Portsmouth in the Great South Run on Sunday.

They are running in aid of Swan UK, a charity which supports families and sufferers of syndromes without a name.

Kirsty, 31, of Fareham, said taking on the 10-mile run was an easy decision to make.

Maddison suffers from a number of problems which are not able to be diagnosed.

She cannot walk or eat properly and has problems with her physical development.

Kirsty said: ‘Maddison goes through so much, but she’s an amazing little girl.

‘She can communicate but not very well.

‘She’s just a smiling little girl and never complains.

‘And she just wants to be like everyone else.’

Maddison is looked after by Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and Southampton General and has also been to St Thomas’s in London but a diagnosis has still not been found.

Kirsty said: ‘She’s in and out of hospital quite often.

‘She had heart surgery when she was less than a your old. And she recently had an operation on her knees because she cannot walk.’

Despite her problems, Kirsty said Maddison always puts a brave face.

She said: ‘Maddison has been through numerous operations, cannot walk and cannot eat and spends half her life in hospital yet she is the happiest and the bravest little girl that I know.’

Kirsty said she and the other friends of Maddison’s family who were taking on the Great South Run were making up for a lack of running experience with their enthusiasm.

She said: ‘None of us are runners but we’ve been training where we can.

‘We all thought we wanted to do something to show our support.’

Maddison is in Year 1 at St Francis’ Special School in Fareham.

Swan UK co-ordinator Lauren Roberts said thousands of children were born every year with syndromes without a name.

She said: ‘It’s estimated that there are about 6,000 children born every year in the UK with syndromes that will remain undiagnosed.

‘Approximately 50 per cent of children who have genetic testing through the NHS won’t get a diagnosis.’

The Great South Run will be on Sunday, October 26.