FIONA Wallis and her twins are a familiar sight around Highwoods estate.

Fiona, 36, is running the Colchester Half Marathon to raise money for a tragic friend who lost her son aged just five months.

But with husband Phil away at work all day, she can only prepare by running around Highwoods while pushing eight-month-old twins Jack and Sofia in their heavy double buggy.

She said: “Before the twins I was pretty fit. But because of the IVF I pretty much stopped because I didn’t want to jeopardise anything, so I was starting from scratch.

“I’ve been getting lots of unusual looks and friendly comments.”

Fiona is supporting friend Hayley Stocks, of Mansfield, who she met on the Fertility Parents website when both conceived through IVF in October 2012.

Mrs Stocks gave birth to Blake ten weeks early in May 2013.

After six weeks at hospital he was discharged seemingly healthy. Fiona and other online friends were due to meet Blake and Hayley in November.

But in October Blake fell ill and died in hospital. His parents are still waiting to find out the cause.

Fiona, who used IVF following two ectopic pregnancies, plans to raise a significant chunk of the £7,500 needed for a fresh course for Hayley and husband Graham.

As they have had a live birth, they are not entitled to NHS treatment.

With the March 16 half marathon just over a fortnight away, Fiona has already raised £2,300 from more than 100 donors.