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Whitstable schoolgirl Gemma Cooper runs in Farnham Marathon alongside British author and film producer Nick Taussig to help children's charity

A Whitstable schoolgirl has proved her friendship knows no bounds after she ran a gruelling marathon alongside an acclaimed British author to help his seriously ill children.

Big-hearted Gemma Cooper, 30, completed the Farnham Pilgrim Marathon on Sunday alongside novelist and film producer Nick Taussig to raise money for Harrison’s Fund - which supports children with muscular dystrophy.

The disease is a fatal genetic condition which affects the muscles. Most child sufferers die in their late teens or early 20s and are confined to a wheelchair by the time they are 12.

Gemma, 30, grew up in Whitstable before moving to London
Gemma, 30, grew up in Whitstable before moving to London

Gemma, who moved to London from her home in Regent Street, took part in the race after Nick’s children Theo, three and Oskar, nine months, were diagnosed with Duchenne - a form of muscular dystrophy.

The former Whitstable Juniors pupil decided to pound the pavements to help Nick after striking up a close friendship with him through her boyfriend Danny.

So far, she has raised £800 towards an overall target of £1,000 to help the charity fund the world’s best researchers to find a cure for the disease.

Gemma, who works as a PA at a hair salon in Mayfair, said: “I don’t have children myself but have a niece and four nephews under the age of five and can’t even begin to imagine what Nick and his wife, Klara, are going through. Theo and Oskar are such amazing children.

“Although I may not be able to raise thousands, I have run two marathons before and know how tough they can be, especially on your own so I offered to run with Nick and support him along the way.”

Mr Taussig is the author of three acclaimed novels Love and Mayhem, Don Don and Gorilla Guerilla. He has also produced feature films Shank and Anuvahood.

To support Gemma visit her Just Giving page.

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