Torch mum's tears of joy
Published: 25 Mar 2012 12:00
when she proudly carries the Olympic Torch through Reading.
Brenda Morton wept on Wednesday in anticipation of the joy on the faces of her two young sons when she carries the flame through the town on Wednesday, July 11, in front of thousands of cheering onlookers.
The West Berkshire Down's syndrome Group chairwoman and Royal Berkshire Hospital emergency unit matron, initially wanted to nominate her son Piers, eight, and his adopted four-year-old brother Joshua, who both suffer from the genetic disorder, as torchbearers. But then applied herself at the last minute when she discovered they were too young.
The 49-year-old said: "It means so much to me and I was so emotional when I found out. It's in recognition of my children and I will be running for my boys. They are vulnerable and don't get the same opportunities as other children, but they are part of the community too. They love sport and outdoor activities and to see their mum with the Olympic torch will make them proud."
Brenda, who lives in Shinfield with husband Bill, admitted it was a "huge challenge" bringing up Piers but it inspired the couple to adopt Joshua as a 12-week-old baby and the two boys help support each other.
She said: "It's not easy, you have to fight for everything. Nothing is straightforward and you feel isolated from other mothers and you get segregated from the start."
However, things were made easier when she joined the group in 2003, which offers emotional, educational and social support to youngsters and their families.
She became chairwoman two years ago and her achievements include extending its speech and language therapy courses and supplying information packs to maternity units advising pregnant women and new mothers who are often unaware of the condition.
Last year she raised £3,500 for the charity by running the Green Park Challenge and is poised to open a new social club to enable older Down's Syndrome children to enjoy day trips and visits to the cinema, bowling alleys and coffee shops.
Group members will line the streets to cheer her on plus colleagues from the hospital's Emergency Department and Clinical Decision unit and her route is likely to be between London Road and Northumberland Avenue.
She added: "For me it's about being part of something big for the country and getting our charity recognised - there's still a lot of ignorance about Down's Syndrome. It's going to be a big honour and I will probably cry that day too."
Get more stories from our Roundup section
6 Mar 2014 12:00 • James Ash
A COMMUNITY campaigner has labelled people rallying against a new supermarket in Goring as “scaremongers”.
6 Mar 2014 09:30 • Nick Gutteridge
READING West MP Alok Sharma is warning residents across Reading to ignore fraudulent leaflets asking for donations to a flood relief fund.
5 Mar 2014 11:30
CHEERING crowds egged-on runners aiming to flip their way to victory yesterday in the Reading Pancake Race.
5 Mar 2014 08:00 • Nick Gutteridge
FIRE service bosses have performed a spectacular U-turn over plans to axe seven posts – a move campaigners said would have put lives at risk.
3 Mar 2014 16:20
WEATHER experts have confirmed Reading officially endured its wettest ever February this year - with flood ravaged families looking to a drier spring as they attempt to rebuild their lives.
3 Mar 2014 12:00 • Joe Gammie
A RIVER rescue charity which proved critical in the floods is facing closure after council bosses ordered it to remove its boats from beneath Reading Bridge.
2 Mar 2014 12:00 • Nick Gutteridge
HE was once renowned as the bad boy of radio who lived a party lifestyle fuelled by booze and drugs.
2 Mar 2014 12:00 • Andrew Belt
DISABLED neighbours say they are bearing the brunt of shoddy construction work at a Tilehurst estate – which is trapping them in their homes.
1 Mar 2014 17:00 • Nick Gutteridge
A US Army veteran who fractured his girlfriend’s skull after she flew into a rage over his affairs has been jailed for nearly three years.
1 Mar 2014 08:00 • Joe Gammie
SENIOR paramedics are accusing South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) of back door privatisation because it splashed out nearly £2m on private ambulance crews last year.
28 Feb 2014 17:00
MOTORISTS are being warned that nearly 50 roads will be closed for the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday.
28 Feb 2014 12:00 • Rhodri Andrews
PICKLED onion lovers have praised a new pub landlord for keeping a popular competition running – after it was hailed a “rip-roaring success”.
28 Feb 2014 08:00 • Nick Gutteridge
A COMPENSATION fund for underpaid female council employees has swollen to £9.5m in just three years – prompting fears it is spiralling out of control.
28 Feb 2014 07:30
READING put in a disappointing display as they crashed to their fourth straight defeat against basement side Salisbury on Saturday, writes Ted Goodhew.
27 Feb 2014 17:24 • Nick Gutteridge
TRAFFIC has come to a standstill in Tilehurst this evening following a two vehicle smash.
27 Feb 2014 15:00
AN AUTISTIC teenager has been jailed for more than three years for setting fire to a homeless man’s sleeping bag as he slept.
27 Feb 2014 14:00 • Nick Gutteridge
POLICE have today launched a crackdown on selfish motorists who are vandalising the West Berkshire countryside in gas guzzling 4x4s.
27 Feb 2014 13:15 • Nick Gutteridge
A TIRELESS charity campaigner is hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help poverty stricken communities in South America when he takes part in his first Reading Half Marathon.
27 Feb 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt
A MASKED robber armed with a silver gun burst into a village shop and threatened terrified staff before escaping with a bag full of cash.
26 Feb 2014 12:00
CHARITY champions are lacing up their trainers for final training runs – with just days to go before the Reading Half Marathon.