A MUM of five from Chard is preparing to run the London Marathon in aid of a cause close to her family’s hearts.

Gina Chlopecki, 40, of Culverhayes, is raising money for Love Musgrove and the Somerset Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where her twin daughters spent the first seven weeks of their lives.

Six-year-olds Matilda and Daisy were born nine weeks early and the excellent care they received at the unit has prompted their mum to give something back.

Gina said: “It’s something I have always wanted to do. You keep applying and this time I was lucky enough to get a place.

“It has always been in the back of my mind since the twins were born that this would be the perfect cause to do it for.

“The girls were very premature and obviously quite little. The staff not only cared for them brilliantly but were really great when we came in with our three other children, Scarlett, Kitty and Max.

“I guess this is a bit of a thank you. It’s the obvious choice to give something back.”

Generous sponsorship has helped Gina already nearly reach her target of £500, so she is now just hoping to raise as much as possible beyond that before the big day on April 13.

She added: “I’m feeling okay about it – training is going well and I am where I should be, at about 18 miles now.

“My family all think it’s great. I don’t think the girls understand why I am taking part if there’s no chance of me winning but they understand it’s for a good cause.”

To sponsor Gina, visit www.justgiving.com/Gina-Chlopecki