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
Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00
Raised offline: £0.00
[p]I do like a challenge, and challenges don’t come much bigger than running a marathon. Especially when you have arthritis.[/p][p]I’m running the 2018 London Marathon for Arthritis Research UK, an AMAZING charity who have supported me for many months and who are helping me to quite literally get back up and running.[/p][p]In April 2016, I noticed that I had a pain in one of my left toes. In typically British style, I was very dismissive of the pain. Maybe I’ve stubbed it. Maybe I’ve dropped something on it. It’ll get better, nothing to worry about. Only it didn’t get better, and 3 weeks later I noticed it had swollen so much it had doubled in size.[/p][p]My GP didn’t know what was going on. I was tested for everything from gout to lupus. I was sent to A&E for x-rays numerous times and nothing showed up. I was accused of time wasting, told there was nothing wrong with me apart from (and this is a direct quote from a hospital consultant) “a sausage toe. You just have a jumbo sausage for a toe”. By June my entire left foot was causing me agony. My left knee and right ankle had both started to swell, my hips would seize up after only a few minutes of inactivity and I struggled to walk. I was exhausted. I was in my doctors almost every other day, tearfully begging them to help me. It was late June when my Doctor told me that it was looking very likely that I was suffering from psoriatic arthritis. I’ve suffered from psoriasis for almost 20 years so it wasn’t a surprise. When I was officially diagnosed in August it felt like a weight had been lifted.[/p][p]What is psoriatic arthritis? In a nutshell, it’s [b][span=text-decoration: underline;]very annoying[/span][/b]. It’s an inflammatory form of arthritis that can be both disabling and debilitating. A slightly more official description can be found here: [url=http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/psoriatic-arthritis.aspx]http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/psoriatic-arthritis.aspx[/url][/p][p]It’s been a hard year. I’ve gone from being a very fit and active runner, to struggling to get out of bed some mornings. I often find myself lacking the energy to do even the simplest of tasks. I’ve forgotten what I look like with brushed hair. I have gone on to suffer from extreme swelling in my entire left leg, which left me unable to move and requiring urgent injections directly into the joints (p.s NOT PLEASANT). During my worst flare ups, I needed help to get dressed and brushing my teeth felt like the most exhausting task in the world. I’ve become incredibly good at taking naps. Whilst PsA can never be cured, it can be managed. I take a weekly dosage of low chemotherapy (methotrexate) to suppress my immune system and keep the inflammation at bay. It’s rough, but it’s gotta be done.[/p][p]I have an amazing team of people who help me, including a consultant, a team of nurses, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, podiatrist and an orthopaedics team, all of whom are dedicated to keeping me healthy and moving.[/p][p]I don’t take for granted the fact that I am still relatively mobile, and running the London Marathon has always been a dream of mine, so I’m taking advantage of the opportunity whilst I still can. I've managed to start jogging again when my body allows, and even managed to complete the Great North Run half marathon in Septmeber 2016. I ran 11 miles of it with a broken toe, because nothing stops me from crossing that finish line and getting the free snacks and goodie bag. With that never give up attitude in mind, I know that whilst my marathon finish time won’t be particularly fast, I know that I [b][span=text-decoration: underline;]can[/span][/b] and [b][span=text-decoration: underline;]will[/span][/b] get round all 26.2 miles of the course in one piece.[/p][p]Thank you for taking the time to read my long winded essay, and I thank you in advance for any support that you may send my way. I really do appreciate it.[/p][p][/p]
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