THIS year's Melbourne Marathon will have special meaning for Sally Crinis.
The former Warrnamboool woman will run in honour of her daughter Lucia, who passed away earlier this year after being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition, having lived just 99 days.
For Mrs Crinis, the grief associated with her loss has driven her to do something she's never done before - run a marathon.
She will be leading a team of runners and walkers - Lucia's Angels - who will take part in this year's event, raising funds for the Royal Children's Hospital cardiology ward. The marathon, short runs and walk will be held on October 13 and will attract participants from across the state.
"We are so touched by the enormous support from family, friends and strangers who are joining forces to honour our darling angel Lucia," Mrs Crinis said.
"Her legacy and message continues to spread near and far; to cherish life, live more, love deeper and take nothing for granted.
"Tragically losing a child is a pain like no other ... the overwhelming sense of grief takes over your body and it's the strength of our support network that has helped us along through these tough times.
"Lucia's Angels team in the Melbourne Marathon is our way to honour our darling Lucia and we are so very thankful for the cardiology team at the Royal Children's Hospital for taking care of Lucia in her short life.
Mrs Crinis has never taken part in a fun run, let alone a marathon and will be taking her twin sister along on the journey.
"Every run I do I cry. The memories flood my mind daily and I feel when I am running that I face the pain and let it all go.
"Dedicating and training to do the Melbourne Marathon has been an incredible way to bring together our support networks and honour our darling Lucia.
"Her legacy lives on and even now she continues to inspire others and spread her message to truly cherish life and we are hoping to raise funds for the cardiology ward at the Royal Children's Hospital so we can help other families."
More than 250 people have committed to taking part in memory of Lucia.
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