EVERY year since their twins' lives were saved by Oxford Children's Hospital a decade ago, Nicola Keymer's husband Gareth has joined the OX5 sponsored run at Blenheim Palace to raise funds and say 'thank you'.

Now he has finally persuaded her to join him.

On Sunday, March 25, the Steventon couple will join hundreds of others on the five-mile fundraiser, cheered on by the twins and their other two children.

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Have you signed up yet? Join us on the OX5 start line  

Mrs Keymer admits she hasn't done a lot of running in recent years, and still hasn't trained for the hilly terrain at Blenheim, but she said after Mr Keymer's decade of doing the decent thing she felt the time had come.

The 37-year-old, a part-time science at King Alfred's Academy in Wantage, said: "I haven't run since school, so I really was starting from nothing.

"I have been training very slowly, but I don't stop because if I stopped I wouldn't start again.

"To be honest, I'll be happy just to complete the course. Being 10 years it is a bit momentous, and my husband persuaded me it was time."

When the twins Gethin and Iestyn were born prematurely at just 24 weeks in January 2008, Mr and Mrs Keymer were told to prepare for the worst.

Weighing just 700 grams(1lb 8oz) each, Mrs Keymer said they 'weren’t much bigger than Action Man dolls'.

In addition, Gethin had a bleed in his brain and had to have three operations.

In total the family spent some six months in and out of the children's hospital before they got to go home and start their life together properly.

Gethin has to use a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy, but both the boys have done well at Chilton Primary School near Harwell.

Mrs Keymer said: "The team at the children's hospital were absolutely amazing, we couldn't have asked for more really.

"They were so supportive and great at encouraging us to get hands-on during those six months."

As well as his wife, teacher Mr Keymer has persuaded several colleagues at St Michael's primary in Steventon to join this year's OX5.

They are hoping to raise as much as they can for the hospital through sponsorship.

Children's hospital spokesman Joe Baker said: "We are delighted the Keymer family and so many other returning families have decided to lace up their trainers and join us again at our very special five-mile run at Blenheim Palace.

"Having family members, friends and former patients join us each year shows us just how special the OX5 Run is and what it means for our supporters to give back to the children’s hospital, for the care and compassion they or their loved ones have received.

"It’s still not too late to sign up for the run, it costs just £17.50 and we ask you to try and raise £200 to help our youngest patients and their families."

Sponsor the Keymers online here