In April 2019 I will be running the London Marathon for Crohn's and Colitis UK - an incredible charity that supports tens of thousands of people suffering with these conditions across the UK.
Every 30 minutes someone new is diagnosed with Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis and over 300,000 people suffer with the conditions in the UK - including my dad.
Although my dad suffers with relatively mild symptoms of Crohn's disease, he has never complained once through painful endoscopies, unpleasant side-effects from medication, a restrictive diet, a secondary complication of a DVT and even spending his 25th wedding anniversary in hospital. His patience and resilience against his condition are an inspiration to me, and I am bursting with pride to be running the marathon in his honour.
Although my dad’s life has been greatly impacted by Crohn’s Disease, his daily symptoms are mercifully very manageable - I can therefore only imagine how difficult the lives of those who suffer with severe symptoms must be. Crohn’s and Colitis UK provides invaluable support to those affected and makes a huge difference to the sufferers and families living with the sometimes isolating symptoms.
Bowels aren't sexy and most victims of Crohn's and Colitis suffer in silence with this often hidden disease. The work of Crohn's and Colitis UK gives sufferers a crucial support network and is bit-by-bit breaking the poo taboo!
I have never fund-raised for any personal challenge previously, imagine that I could well be deterred from running for life (!) and don't anticipate begging you for any other donations in the near future. So, please dig as deep as you can for this incredible cause that means so much to thousands of families across the UK, including my own.