Veronica Bodell, a mum from St Albans, has been inspired to run the London Marathon by the premature birth experience of her friend Sarah.

When Sarah’s twins, Charlotte and Eva, were born 12 weeks early in 2011 they weighed just 2lb 8oz (1.1kg) and 2lb 2oz (980g).

After 79 days in neonatal intensive care (NICU), Charlotte came home and is now a healthy, happy 12-year-old who attends a local school and loves performing.

Sadly, Eva died aged six months following surgical complications.

Veronica first met Sarah at a St Albans book club in 2014, and the two have been great friends ever since.

Inspired by Sarah's ’s charity work as founding trustee and director of The Smallest Things - an organisation which supports the parents of premature babies - Veronica decided to run the London Marathon in aid of the charity.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Veronica was inspired by the premature birth experience of her friend Sarah.Veronica was inspired by the premature birth experience of her friend Sarah. (Image: The Smallest Things)

The event will take place on April 21, and donations can be made to Veronica's JustGiving page.

Veronica said: "I’m a huge supporter of the wonderful work that Sarah and The Smallest Things are doing to help those who follow in their footsteps.

"When I got a ballot place I knew I wanted to run for them.

"I’m hugely passionate about fitness and getting people moving, achieving goals and fundamentally believing in themselves. There is a huge power in moving your body.

St Albans & Harpenden Review: This year will see Veronica's second London Marathon.This year will see Veronica's second London Marathon. (Image: The Smallest Things)

"I last ran the London Marathon 17 years ago, I am excited to run it again."

Sarah added: "V is without doubt the most positive, uplifting and inspiring woman I know.


"As well as being a great friend, she is a motivating force every week for hundreds of people in our community who want to feel fitter and happier.

"Her (BOUNCE) classes in St Albans are renowned for their energy, encouragement and feel-good vibes.

"V is also a Run Leader for St Albans Striders and Athena Ladies Running Club. If anyone can take on the London Marathon, it’s V.

"I’m thrilled she’s raising money for The Smallest Things. We’re a tiny charity with huge ambition, and every penny really does count."