DEDICATED dad Steve Grant is taking on the Great South Run for his daughter.
Eight-year-old Hollie has a severe form of alopecia, which has caused her to lose her hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.
I am hoping that by running the Simplyhealth Great South Run, we as a family will be doing our bit to raise much-needed awareness.Steve Grant
To raise awareness for the condition Steve, from Waterlooville, has signed up for the 10-mile race.
The 41-year-old said: ‘I want to raise money and awareness for my daughter Hollie because she has dealt with alopecia since the age of two.
‘The first time most of her hair fell out. It grew back, but unfortunately last year it all fell out again, but this time more severe, affecting her eyebrows and eyelashes.’
Hollie’s parents are worried the impact not having hair will have on her as she gets older and becomes more aware of her appearance.
Steve added: ‘Hollie is real girly girl and like many her age, loves dressing up, playing with her toys and with her friends.
‘Although she’s an incredibly bright and happy young girl we are naturally fearful about the long-term emotional impact that not having hair will have on her as she gets older.
‘One of the things Hollie finds hardest about her condition is that people, including adults, often assume she has cancer.
‘We thank our lucky stars everyday that isn’t the case, but we are hoping the more alopecia gets talked about and the more awareness there will be, Hollie won’t have to continually explain why she has no hair.
‘Like other conditions that aren’t life threatening there isn’t a significant amount of research into what causes alopecia.
‘I am hoping that by running the Simplyhealth Great South Run, we as a family will be doing our bit to raise much-needed awareness.’ Steve is also hoping to raise money for charity Alopecia UK which supports people with the condition.
He has raised £200 against a £1,000 target.
When he takes part in the Great South Run, Steve will be one of 20,000 people taking on the 10-mile route in Portsmouth on October 22.
Participants start on Clarence Esplanade before heading to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, passing the likes of HMS Victory. Runners cross the finish line on the seafront.
Steve, who is also dad to Millie, 16 and Lewie, six, said: ‘Hollie thinks it’s great that I’m doing the run and that I’m running it with her two uncles.’
To donate to Steve visit justgiving.com/fundraising/stevegrant180.
Entry for the Great South Run is still open.
To apply please visit greatrun.org/great-south-run.