SLIMMING star Helen Sorrell will compete in the Great North Run to raise money for two charities after making a miraculous transformation by losing half her body weight.
The mother-of-two had a gastric bypass procedure last April – an operation that involves stapling the stomach to reduce its size – which dropped ten stones from her former 22-stone frame.
She said: “I went through years of dieting failure and I went to the surgeon and said please help me, I want to live.”
Mrs Sorrell, 45, of Monkhill Lane, Pontefract, decided to undergo the life-changing surgery after her friend’s son Matthew Smith, of Carleton Road, died aged 18 of a heart condition in 2006.
She said: “He was a young, fit and healthy boy and it made realise you have to look after what you’ve got.”
Mrs Sorrell and husband Keith, 55, have two sons, Jamie, 13, who has autism, and Ashley, 22, who has various physical disabilities.
She added: “I realised that I need to be here for my boys and my weight started to worry me that I might not be here for as long as I need to be.
“My two boys think it fantastic that I’m going to do my run and they are both so proud.
“I wanted a challenge to go with my weight loss so I decided to run the Great North Run.
The surgeon gave me the tool to lose the weight, but I knew it was down to me to make the change.”
Mrs Sorrell, who works for Bonmarche, will raise money for the McMillan Cancer Trust and Cardiac Risk in the Young charity (CRY).
Mrs Sorrell will be collecting cash in the Pontefract branch, on Salter Row, until the 13-mile run on September 18.
She said: “I was hoping my story may inspire others to seek help with losing weight and to get fit and healthy while helping a charity, also readers could pop into Bonmarche to sponsor me.”