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On Sunday 11th September, I am hoping to complete the New Forest 10km run (www.newforestmarathon.co.uk) to raise funds and support for a local University Hospital Southampton charity called 'Kids with Guts' that supports activities and research for children and young people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is an autoimmune condition that can cause chronic, severe inflammation across the gut. There is no cure. If diagnosed in childhood, lifelong symptoms are more likely to be severe. Children with active disease experience discomfort and pain. Often they feel too unwell to eat or are unable to extract nutrition from their food. Young patients miss school and interaction with their friends and peers. Treatment can include special diets, drugs to suppress the immune systems and surgery. It is thought the disease arises when there is a defective immune response to microbes in the gut.
Over recent years, I have conducted research into understanding the genetic causes of this disease. All across the Wessex region, children and young people with this disease have joined research studies because they want to do something to help others and to help understand the disease. They often join research studies at a time when they feel very poorly and need to visit the hospital. I am inspired by their bravery and selflessness - this is why I want to do my bit by completing this run to raise support for the 'Kids with Guts' charity.
I have never been a long distance runner. I have never before run 10 km. This distance is well outside my comfort zone and I am hoping for some soft Irish rain to cool me down along the route! Feel free to come and support me!
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