WHEN Beth Lee was born, her mother Julia Spargo wasn’t sure whether she would ever be able to walk.

Now the Bicester four-year-old has started learning ballet and her mum is taking part in the Oxford Mail OX5 Run as a thank-you to Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Beth was born with a cleft palate, dislocated hips and breathing problems.

After multiple operations and frequent trips to the children’s hospital she is enjoying nursery and practices her steps at her weekly dance classes.

Mrs Spargo said: “We weren’t sure if Beth would ever be able to walk and we never thought she would be able to do ballet. She’s doing really well, doing great at nursery and will start school in September. She walks much better and is seeing less of the orthopaedic surgeon.

“The OX5 Run will be a yearly event for me now as a mark of appreciation for what the hospital staff have done for us.”

The 37-year-old has raised more than £2,000 in her previous four OX5 runs.

Beth still visits the hospital occasionally for check-ups and treatment and her mum knows more than most just how special the staff there are.

Mrs Spargo’s eldest child Amalia, six, was born with a kidney problem and had two operations shortly after she was born.

She said: “The staff are just exceptional – they are so caring and always take the time to explain everything.

“We are very lucky in Oxfordshire. I know that the level of care the children’s hospital provides is not the norm everywhere. It’s really important we don’t take the hospital for granted, and raise as much money as we can.”

The event is being sponsored by recruitment firm Allen Associates for the eighth year. This year’s event raised £106,000 for the hospital and the event, now in its 14th year, has raised more than £850,000 in total.