Crouch End mothers take on 5k-a-day challenge to beat Rett syndrome

Lorna Stockwood and Nicole Baird who are raising money for Rett syndrome. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Lorna Stockwood and Nicole Baird who are raising money for Rett syndrome. Photo: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Two Crouch End mothers are running, swimming or cycling 5km every day for 50 days, inspired by the bravery of six-year-old Jessica, who has Rett syndrome.

Jessica, who is "always smiling, always giggling"

Jessica, who is "always smiling, always giggling" - Credit: Archant

Nicole Baird, 42, invited Lorna Stockwood, 43, to join in the challenge in support of her friend Liz Campbell, 39, whose “smiling” daughter has the rare neurological condition.

Nicole met Jessica’s mother when attending antenatal classes and they have daughters the same age.

“We both had babies the same time,” Nicole said. “Our daughters played together for almost two years, but Jessica’s development started to change.

“Whereas she’d started to crawl and walk and was feeding herself, she started to lose all that function. And then they went to get diagnosed and found out it was Rett syndrome.

“It’s a really terrible condition - it takes away all of the child’s functions, so Jessica will never walk, or talk, or feed herself, or be able to sleep without medication.”

Nicole and Lorna are taking on the challenge to raise money for Reverse Rett - a charity which runs clinical trials and research for a better understanding of the condition.

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Both mothers of two, neither would normally describe themselves as athletic.

“Put it this way, my trainers are in pristine condition normally,” Lorna said.

“I don’t normally like games or exercise, but on days when I’m not motivated, just thinking about Jessica and Liz and the things they have to do on a daily basis is a huge incentive.”

Liz describes her daughter as “always smiling, always giggling.”

“She takes it all in her stride. She puts up with so much and complains so little.”

- To sponsor Nicole and Liz, visit their Just Giving pages at: and