A Wearside woman is gearing up for this year's Great North Run in memory of a close friend who tragically lost her battle with anorexia.
Kathryn Common, of Washington, is tackling the half marathon on Sunday to raise funds for Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.
Kathryn decided to support Beat after childhood friend Louise Wrightson died on her 36th birthday after suffering with anorexia nervosa for over 20 years.
Speaking about her upcoming challenge, Kathryn, who is 39, said: “What happened to Louise was tragic, but all too familiar for people suffering with eating disorders.
"She went through many treatments, many of the far from home, was sectioned and treated against her own will.
"The physical and mental consequences of the disease where overwhelming and in the end the outcome was inevitable.
“I’m pleased I was able to say goodbye to her and spend time with her throughout her illness.
"She was an amazing friend and I miss her every day."
Kathryn’s support will help to fund Beat’s essential services, including helplines which are open 365 days a year.
The charity's Community Fundraising Officer, Emily Case said: “As Kathryn is taking part in this event in memory of her friend Louise, we appreciate how important this event will be to her and we are so grateful that she chose to support Beat.
"Her support, alongside the other Beat runners taking part in the event, will help Beat to change the lives of more people affected by eating disorders.
“By taking part in this challenge and representing us, Kathryn is helping to fund our Helplines and online support services.
"Beat could not exist without our fundraisers, so we are extremely grateful for her support.”
At least 1.2 million men and women of all ages and backgrounds, are affected by an eating disorder in the UK.
Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness but recovery is possible.
Finding treatment quickly is crucial in saving lives and Beat says it can provide the first contact to guide and support people in accessing the treatment they need.
The charity says it supports thousands of people every year through its helplines, message board and online services, which are funded by supporters.
To donate towards Kathryn’s challenge, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kathryn-common-gnr-2017.