The Virgin Money London Marathon is one of the most popular events in the fundraising calendar. On Sunday 23 April 2017, 20 dedicated runners will call on months of gruelling training to complete the 26.2 mile route across the capital in aid of the HDA.
Here, four of our #TeamHDA London Marathon runners share their marathon stories.
Experienced marathon runner Linda Cullin Moir, who has Huntington’s disease, will be taking on her seventh London Marathon this year.
“I was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in December 2012. I was the first person in my family to be diagnosed with this cruel disease, at the age of 45. I initially thought I was suffering from work related stress and fatigue. I had to retire from work and now cannot drive either.
“My father was subsequently tested and found to have the faulty gene. He had passed it on to me unknowingly. There is also a 50% chance of it affecting my sons at some point in the future.
“After diagnosis I was supported by the Huntington’s Disease Association. By running the London Marathon on 23 April, my 7th and last, I hope to raise awareness and funds to help the Association and others.”
Professional actress and singer Nicky Swift confessed “I’m not really a runner, but the London marathon has been on my bucket list for a while!” This is her first marathon and she’s already raised over £6,000.
“The summer of 2016 was an incredibly busy time for me and my boyfriend Mark. I was performing around the UK with the musical ‘Footloose’, and he was also on tour with The Kinks musical ‘Sunny Afternoon’. In the midst of our crazy schedules, Mark was tested for the Huntington’s gene.
“Mark’s dad Alan was diagnosed with HD around 13 years ago and his father also had it. Mark and I would love to have a family in the future so we felt that having the test was the right thing to do for us.
“In July we got the news that Mark also had the HD gene. We went through all sorts of emotions but we found that the one thing we agreed upon more than anything was raising awareness of HD.
“I would say 90% of our friends were unaware of HD and what it was. It was then that I decided to run the marathon for this amazing charity.
“We felt our jobs would be useful in promoting awareness of Huntington’s disease, as we get to travel all over the country and promote our shows, so why not raise awareness for HD while we’re at it?! Mark has also started a vlog where he talks about his experience of HD and having the diagnosis.
“Training has been really hard. I’ve been running at least 3 times a week since last August and I’ve been following an intense training plan since January. There’s been ups and downs. Running 17.5 miles a couple of weeks ago was definitely an up, slipping down some concrete steps the day after and damaging my coccyx was definitely a big down!
“I’m very excited for 23rd April, I’m looking forward to having our families there to celebrate afterwards. I feel honoured to be running for such a worthy cause.”
Speedy runners Rochelle Evans and Shane Reading already have two London marathons under their belts, but this year is the first to be done in aid of charity as part of #TeamHDA.
“Rochelle’s mum has recently been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. After the diagnosis we contacted the Huntington’s Disease Association for some advice and support. We met with our local Specialist HD Adviser who helped us enormously in giving us information about the disease and the support they can offer us.
“The HDA will play a very important part in our lives now for the foreseeable future, as there is a 50/50 chance that the disease has been passed on to Rochelle and her younger brother.
“This year we decided that we would raise money for the Huntington’s Disease Association, not only to give something back for the help we have had so far and will receive from them in the future, but also to raise awareness about this disease.”
Have these inspirational marathoners have inspired you to take on your own challenge?
However big or small your event, we can help you to make the most of your fundraising. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 331 5445 to chat to the team, or get started today by downloading a fundraising registration form.