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Team story

[p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p]2018 was definitely a year of two halves for my family. There is myself, my determined and inspirational husband Chris and Our children Harry aged 9 and Katie aged 14. Chris has been a police officer for 28 years and early in 2018 after months of assessments, tests and interviews he was promoted to Assistant Chief Constable with West Midlands Police and has since been awarded the Queens Police Medal. As a celebration of his promotion we had an amazing holiday to Florida we took the children to Disney and drove down the coast to the Florida Keys.[/p][p][br][/p][p]On return from Florida Chris became unwell which is not like him. He is never ill, even the GP said it was unusual to see him. This is after all a man who has only ever had two days off sick in his whole career. To cut a very long story short after a few stressful months of tests I will never forget 10.00am on Friday 16th November 2018 sat in a room in the QE hospital we were told Chris has Motor Neurone Disease, a terminal illness for which there no cure, just a tablet that slows down the disease. Our whole world fell apart. How do we tell the children. All our hopes, dreams and plans for retirement just disappeared. We used to see old couples walking along holding hands and used to say ‘do you think that will be us’…..we now know the answer to that is no.[/p][p][br][/p][p]In essence motor neurone disease is a terminal illness and affects everyone differently there is no known reason why people get mnd and no cure, some people have a rapid deterioration others not, basically the motor neurones break down that helps with movement, speech, swallowing breathing. There is no typical progression and not everyone gets all the symptoms so basically the sufferer is trapped in a failing body but the mind is aware of what is happening such a cruel disease. Our first question was ‘how long do we have’. The answer to that is we don’t know it could be 6 months it could be 5 years. The average person will live for two years after diagnosis only 10 percent live for more than 5 years.[/p][p][br][/p][p]We spent time as a family trying to come to terms with it and I can honestly say we have good days and bad days but Chris is amazing and such an inspiration, he wants the children to see him as a role model. He accepts that he has this horrendous disease and he can’t do anything about it so wants to see something positive come out of it.[/p][p][br][/p][p]We have decided to make as many happy memories for the children and I as we can whilst he can still get about, he is still working and some minor adaptations have been made but it’s what he wants to keep things as normal as possible for as long as possible. Chris is using his influential position in British Policing to make the service more inclusive and to encourage people to think about policing as a career, by talking about his illness Chris hopes that anyone working in policing with a visible or non visible disability or even a long term condition will feel safe in the knowledge that they will not be discriminated against and reasonable adjustments can be put into place to support them.[/p][p][br][/p][p]He has done some amazing videos for work encouraging people that ‘It’s Ok to not be ok’. He has been interviewed on various radio stations and various publications have shared his story but the biggest one was when we both appeared on good morning Britain with the lovely Charlotte Hawkins such a surreal experience but a fantastic memory.[/p][p][br][/p][p]We were informed about the Motor Neurone Disease Association which is a charity that improves care and support for people living with MND and also their families and carers. The work they do is amazing and people have so much support from them.[/p][p][br][/p][p]The Primrose Hospice is a local charity in Bromsgrove where we live and they provide support for people living with a terminal illness in north east Worcestershire they need to raise £ 1.5 million a year to keep their services free. The hospice is a warm bright happy place and gives so much to our family.[/p][p][br][/p][p]So following our appearance on good morning Britain this was seen by lots of people but inspired the lovely Trudy Gittins who I had never met and has now become a friend for life, to run the Liverpool marathon in May 2020 for both the Primrose Hospice and the MDNA to raise much needed money. She encouraged others to sign up and it is now bigger than we ever thought. There are over 300 people from West Midlands Police and other forces, colleagues past and present and friends and family from West Mids and all around the uk involved some running the half marathon others the full even I have signed up for the half and I’m not a runner - far from it, but have met some lovely people and made new friends who are training with me and will get me round. People have gone above and beyond and lots of fundraising activities are taking place and will all be put into this pot. Our aim is to raise as much as we can for these two very worthwhile charities that have come to mean so much. Our son Harry is doing the one mile to raise money for his dad. Our group is called #WMPMND and each and every person doing this is doing fundraising training and the run in their own time and at their own expense and for that each and everyone of you will have a special place in my heart.[/p][p][br][/p][p]If you would like to see the amazing work these two charities do this is where to find out:[/p][p][br][/p][p]https://primrosehospice.org[/p][p]https://www.mndassociation.org[/p][p][br][/p][p]To take part and run for #WMPMND in support of these two charities contatct DS Trudy Gittins t.gittins@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk[/p][p][br][/p][p]A special mention goes to the following who are all part of this amazing journey they are not running on the day but doing other things for these amazing charities and all money is donated through this page.[/p][p][br][/p][p] · [b]Sarah Thomas-West [/b]in place of Liverpool is doing a full Iron Man!! This is an amazing feat and she will be doing this as team #WMPMND and raising funds.[/p][p] · [b]Michael Brown [/b]will be doing the ‘Ride London 2020’ for #WMPMND. Again a huge physical challenge and he will also be helping us raising funds and riding to Liverpool the day before with some others as support crew.[/p][p] · [b]Bec Kalam [/b]will be running Edinburgh marathon for #WMPMND instead of Liverpool which falls on the same day. Bec had already signed up to Edinburgh before she heard about Liverpool but really wants to be part of it and will be running for us up there[/p][p] · [b]Jon Belcher [/b]is a DCI in Warwickshire Police and although he can’t do Liverpool with us as he is away, he will run another race close to ours in support of #WMPMND [/p][p][br][/p][p]Nicola Colley has always been a keen runner until she had a nasty fall and had metal pins in her ankle, she has also undergone a hip replacement which has stopped her running days and is supporting us in spirit however she wants to support us so has created a challenge of her own to walk the 3 highest peaks in England just before Liverpool Scarfell Pike, Hellvelyn and Skidaw.[/p][p]Sarah Sprague who emigrated to Australia and is a friend of Trudy along with her three friends Lucy Saunders, Cher Boycott and Lisa Mahon are all running the busselton half marathon on 8th February for this group on the other side of the world! Lisa is also doing a Jetty swim the following day thank you so much ladies.[/p][p]Richard Mason will be supporting us by doing a sponsored parachute jump date and time will follow.[/p][p][br][/p][p]Nicky Simms is running Birmingham 10k on 31st May 2020 to raise funds and awareness for us.[/p][p][br][/p][p]A huge special thanks to the following four people who are running London Marathon in April and then joining us in Liverpool[/p][p]Kelly Monaghan[/p][p]Jon Butler[/p][p]Lucy Kirwan[/p][p]And my very dear friend Lucy Brown[/p][p][br][/p][p]One final mention to Detective Inspector Chris Brown who is recording a charity single 'On the run@ to raise even more awareness he will have his own page for this but deserved a mention.[/p][p][br][/p][p] [/p][p]Each and every step on the day will be for Chris Johnson an inspirational man and leader in many ways who I am proud to call my husband.[/p][p]ITS OK TO NOT BE OK [/p][p][br][/p][p]24/01/2020[/p][p][br][/p][p]you will have noticed the target has changed 1614 is Chris collar number so seemed apt xx[/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p]
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