The death of a school friend has inspired student Maia Gray to take on the world’s biggest half marathon.
Self-confessed non-runner Maia, 18, is taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday 8 September. Her motivation is to raise as much money as she can for Brain Tumour Research in memory of her best friend Rhya Story who died suddenly from an aggressive, inoperable brain tumour at the age of 14.
The girls were pupils at Haydon Bridge High School. Maia, who is now studying biology at Newcastle College, said: “Rhya and I were best friends. We clicked as soon as we met. At the end of the school year we said goodbye and didn’t get around to meeting up over the summer holidays. She never came back to school after that.”
Rhya, who was from a small farming village in Northumberland, was a keen footballer and played for Haltwhistle United under-15s. Her tragic brain tumour journey captured the support of the footballing world, with everyone from Alan Shearer to players from AC Milan backing the #HEART4RHYA hashtag.
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