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Rebecca North

Northy's fundraising page

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Sunday, I completed the London Marathon. I've just about managed to stop crying. [/p][p]It was hot and it was tough but I enjoyed every single moment. I made friends with fellow runners who I know will be friends for life. I had my travelling cheer squad at miles 7, 14, 21 and 385 yards to go and I cried EVERY SINGLE TIME I saw them. I received so much support from fellow runners and the spectators made me so proud to (almost-ish) call myself a Londoner. From people coming out of their houses with sun cream, to buying ice lollies and filling up our water bottles to compensate for the course running out of water, the kindness of people never fails to amaze me. [/p][p]I didn't get emotional at Tower Bridge like most people do, but Canary Wharf got the waterworks going.[/p][p]I twisted my right knee at mile 24 but I still kept going. NOTHING gets between me and that goody bag at the end.[/p][p]I promised the world I would never run another marathon.[/p][p]I've taken the promise back.[img][/img][/p][p]Thank you all for your support and if you've ever wanted to do the London Marathon....if I can do it, so can you. [/p][p]--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/p][p]As I’m sure a lot of you have heard me moan on about just once or twice, just under two years ago I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of inflammatory arthritis. [/p][p]I’m going to cut a long story short here: I will be completing the London Marathon for Arthritis Research UK on 22nd April 2018.[/p][p]Long story below (get your teeny tiny violins at the ready).[/p][p]There were no warning signs. No aches or pains. There was nothing to suggest that I was anything but fit and healthy. A very keen runner, I’d never felt better. But out of nowhere and with no prior warning, my immune system got a bit confused, and decided to start attacking itself. [/p][p]It started with a sore toe. In typically British fashion, I thought nothing of it. Maybe I’d stubbed it, dropped something on it, I’m sure it’s nothing. But the pain got worse, and then a few days after I first felt the pain, the toe was double its normal width and was now super painful. I couldn’t bear any weight on that foot. Doctors were baffled. I was sent to A&E for x-rays. Nothing. I was accused of timewasting. A few weeks passed and the pain was increasing. I was limping so heavily it was agonising. Back to A&E. Told again to stop wasting their time, that there was literally nothing wrong with me apart from having ‘a sausage toe’. A holiday to Florida happened. I was doubled over in pain the entire fortnight. I now had a knee that was swelling up. I couldn’t get off the plane at Glasgow, my body had literally seized up. Another tearful trip to the Doctors, and finally the words ‘Psoriatic Arthritis’ were muttered, and everything made sense. [/p][p]Just 10 weeks after that first pain in my toe, I was signed off work, in so much pain and with such stiffness I could barely get out of bed. It had spread to more toes, both of my knees and my ankles. I was being told that I should start coming to terms with the fact that I probably needed a walking stick, and long term, possibly a wheelchair. At just 27 years old, I couldn’t get my head around it. I honestly believed my life was over. [/p][p]I was rushed through to see a specialist at hospital in Aberdeen, and the diagnosis was confirmed. I was prescribed a drug called methotrexate, which is essentially a very mild form of chemo. It didn’t work. I have never been so exhausted in my entire life. I then got changed onto another drug, sulfasalazine. Just 6 days in to this med I had such a severe reaction to it my GP was surprised I was alive. [/p][p]Since then I've also developed arthritis in my fingers and suffered with severe pains in my neck, shoulders and back. I'm on a very long wait list to have surgery to correct the joints in my feet. I have regular minor surgery to reduce the pain in my toes. [/p][p]But all is not lost.[/p][p]It hasn't been all doom and gloom. I took to writing shortly after being diagnosed, talking about the numerous trials and tribulations I have faced, which has led to me writing for leading disability and arthritis websites, being featured in The Guardian (my Mum was very proud), and also starting my own little website which is doing quite well.[/p][p]In October, I was given the green light by Rheumatology to start self-injecting a drug called Cosentyx. With no exaggeration, this has given me a second chance at life. It has changed my life. In just a few weeks my mobility was almost back to ‘normal’. I could hold a pen again. I could shake people’s hands at Christmas without crying because of the pain. It has continued to work. And I started to run again. Not much. Mainly baths. But it was better than nothing. The odd 5k here and there. My body not reacting negatively afterwards. More of a jog-walk than a run, but it all counts. I don’t take this, or anything, for granted because my body could go back to old ways at any point.[/p][p]I like a challenge, and because of that I have decided to take on the biggest challenge of them all....The London Marathon. [/p][p]I am running for the amazing Arthritis Research UK who have helped me immensely over the past year. They have provided me and my family with invaluable support and advice every step of the way. Pun intended. I am also running it because this is my only chance of achieving my lifelong dream of running my home marathon before I am 30 (let’s just say the window of time to achieve this is now very, very, VERY short). I am running for everyone who no longer can.[/p][p]It won’t be fast. Don’t be under any illusions that I’m going out there to beat Mo Farah. It’s going to be modest compared to what my ‘old body’ could have achieved. But for the semi-abled girl who was told she’d never be able to do anything like this ever again? Just completing the course will be incredible.[/p][p]I would really appreciate your support in helping me to say thank you to this wonderful charity who have done, and continue to do, so much to help me and those around me.[/p][p]Now for the boring part....[/p][p]Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.[/p]
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Supporters

Jun 20, 2018

Mum

£100.00

May 25, 2018

Rita

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

May 16, 2018

Peter Dewar

Well Done Rebecca

£30.00

May 3, 2018

Stuart Hardie

Well done on an outstanding achievement, you should feel very proud of yourself. The very best of luck for your next one Rebecca! X

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Apr 27, 2018

Ian MacGeorge

Well done, a tremendous achievement!

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Apr 27, 2018

Mike

Well done Rebecca

£67.00 plus £16.75 Gift Aid

Apr 27, 2018

Eddie

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Apr 26, 2018

Andrea Murray

Well done Rebecca - what a phenomenal achievement!!

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Apr 26, 2018

Mark

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Apr 26, 2018

David Boyd

Nothing I can say other than inspirational. My mum has just had both her knees replaced due to arthritis and is relishing her new freedom of movement after so many years in pain.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid