AN EPIC 60-mile relay across South West Wales delivered hope to the front door of a young girl injured in a road traffic accident.

Sixty volunteers ran one mile each this Saturday (October 7) to carry a relay baton and a specialist therapeutic suit to the home of Shannon Folena, who was left unable to walk or talk following a traffic collision in 2014.

Supported by 15 experienced ‘buddy runners’ and a fleet of drivers, the band of volunteers raised £3,500 to cover the cost of the MOLLI suit which experts say can make a real difference to Shannon’s quality of life.

Setting off from the door of the LifePoint Centre in Uplands, Swansea, the chain of runners travelled through Dunvant, Loughor, Llanelli, Carmarthen, St Clears, Narberth and on to Haverfordwest where 15-year old Shannon lives with her family.

The first mile of the relay was run by Shannon’s sister Louise, who set off from Swansea at 7am.

The final mile was run by Shannon’s dad, Paul, who arrived at his daughter’s side at their home in Pembrokeshire at 7pm.

“The love and care of all those who ran, drove and donated to make this incredible gift possible is so powerful. Each time Shannon puts on the suit she will feel the strength of their friendship and support,” Paul said.

“Each mile that was run raised at least £50 which means that by 7pm when the MOLLI suit and the relay baton arrived at Shannon’s home the suit was fully paid for and Shannon can start to enjoy its benefits,” said Mike Sutton-Smith, the organiser of the Run for Shannon event.

A MOLLI suit is a state-of-the-art, made-to-measure rehabilitation garment that Shannon can wear, and uses electrical stimulation to help develop her movement and muscle control.

“We are so glad to have played a small part in helping her to afford it,” explained Mike, who is also the Pastor of LifePoint Church.

“Our church has congregations in Swansea and in Shannon’s home town in Haverfordwest so we thought this would be a way of joining arms right across South West Wales and doing something together that could make a difference to one young girl’s life.”