A LOVING father has taken up running to cope with his daughter’s rare illness.

Richard Wisson, from Lanchester, County Durham, is taking part in the Great North Run this September to fundraise for The Sick Children’s Trust.

The charity has supported his family while his daughter has been seriously ill in hospital.

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Isla was born in February last year with an oversized tongue and swollen face.

After tests at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, Isla was eventually diagnosed with cystic yygroma, a condition that affects only one per cent of children.

The condition, also known as lymphatic malformation, appears as a painless, soft lump on the body’s lymph nodes.

Isla has been back and forth to the RVI for treatment and has suffered many complications since her diagnosis including serious infections.

She has had numerous injections to reduce swelling and a tongue reduction operation.

While Isla was in hospital, her parents were able to stay close by to her in Crawford House, The Sick Children’s Trust’s Home from Home at the RVI.

Mr Wisson, 41, said: “The Sick Children’s Trust has been there for us and have given us a home so that we can stay beside our daughter and be there for her when she needs us most.

“Without the house we would have had to pay for a hotel as there was no way we would travel home and leave Isla alone in hospital.”

Mr Wisson has been running since May and lost four stones in weight.

He added: “I’ve never been a runner but since Isla’s diagnosis I have found it a great way to relieve stress and clear my head.

“After a run I come back feeling refreshed and more able to cope with Isla’s illness and treatment.”

To support Mr Wisson visit his charity website: www.justgiving.com/richard-wisson