A Sheffield boxing champion who suffered from a hole in his heart until the age of five is taking part in the Great North Run to fund research into heart disease.
Tommy Frank, aged 21, from Intake, a Young Yorkshire Boxing champion, will race with 55,000 other runners on September 7 when he takes part in the half marathon for Yorkshire-based national charity Heart Research UK.
Tommy had to have an operation when he was five years old to correct a hole in his heart which was leaving him breathless and his lips blue.
At the age of 12 he began boxing, training at Sheffield Boxing Centre in Hillsborough, and has won the Yorkshire bantamweight title four times.
Tommy said: “I’ve had a great summer this year, with lots of training and exciting events.
“I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Great North Run and raising money for Heart Research UK.
“I hope I can motivate other young people to take part in events like this, as well as keep healthy by exercising.”
Earlier this year Tommy became a young ambassador for Heart Research UK, promoting its Helping Little Hearts campaign which is funding a ‘rehabilitation toolkit’ for children leaving hospital after open heart surgery.
He added: “I just wanted to give something back after the treatment I received, and try to help Heart Research UK as much as I can.
“It is not easy to know what you can do as a child after heart surgery, so a prescription and toolkit that helps parents to understand will make a big difference.”
To run for the charity, visit www.heartresearch.org.uk