WHEN she stands on the Virgin Money London Marathon starting line on Sunday, one very special person will be uppermost in the mind of determined mum Emma Carter-Desai.
Nottingham University student Rosie Carter, who previously worked at The George, in St Mary Bourne, had encouraged her mum to enter the London Marathon before she tragically died in her sleep while on a family holiday in Wales on September 8 last year.
Despite Mrs Carter-Desai at first not being successful in her application for a place in the London Marathon, she was subsequently given a place to run for charity Young Epilepsy.
Mrs Carter-Desai, who has three other children, is now on track to achieve her target of raising £15,000 for Young Epilepsy as she has already drummed up £9,100 through sponsorship and coffee mornings.
Her children are behind her with 14-year-old Amber holding school cake sales and 12-year-old Tom and Phoebe, six, coming up with ideas to boost her total.
Mrs Carter-Desai, who hopes to run her first marathon with friend Lee Morgan in under four-and-a-half hours, is training several times a week and recently completed the Reading half-marathon in one hour and 58 seconds.
She said: “I have days when I just don’t want to go and days when I am angry and it gets a bit of frustration out.
“I did the Reading half-marathon with my sister, and it was very emotional. Things pop up in your head, pictures.
“Rosie would have loved to have run the marathon with me. Rosie was very proud of us all.”
An inquest into former Rookwood School pupil Rosie’s death has been opened and the family is still waiting for answers into how the 19-year-old died.
She had suffered from seizures on and off since she was 14 years old, but had never been diagnosed with epilepsy as doctors believed they were night terrors, said her mum.
Rosie, who was studying fashion marketing at university, was waiting to be referred to a consultant at the time of her death.
Mrs Carter-Desai said: “Mainly, this is about raising awareness of the young girls and young boys, who have nocturnal seizures, who brush it off like Rosie did. I want to make them realise it can kill them. If Rosie had known that, she definitely wouldn’t have brushed it off.”
She added: “Rosie was really healthy, very happy. She went spinning with her grandmother at the leisure centre every week and had a lovely boyfriend, Ryan.
“You would look at her and she was a picture of health. She was very, very popular and had a lot of friends. She was extremely close to her sisters and brother.”
To donate money for Young Epilepsy, visit justgiving.com/mum-runs-for-Rosie.