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The MileS for MS Team London Marathon and 14 Mile Slog Team
Georgina Pottinger - My Story
In memory of my lovely Mum, Karen August, who sadly passed away suddenly, at age 55, on the 15th May 2017, after a long 26 year battle against a severe and progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis.
Diagnosed, when she was 29 (I was only 14 at the time with my two younger brothers only 8 and 5), she deteriorated in front of our eyes. She soon lost her ability to write, walk, feed herself, voluntarily move her upper body, speak, swallow, go to the toilet and see clearly. After trialling various drugs, undergoing two intensive brain operations, losing her bladder and later, needing to be fed by a tube she eventually became bed-ridden for the last 12 years of her life. Yet, despite all of that, she could still hear, she could still smile and she was always laughing (especially at rude jokes!). She led a life she could have so easily become very bitter about but instead she fought on, never gave up and relished what she could enjoy........ time spent with her family, friends and her wonderful team of nurses/carers!
For my brothers and I it has been painful, we've not been quite as strong, brave or as tough as she was. While she was smiling and laughing with very little dignity left, we were often very sad, lost and yes, a little bitter about the fact that we didn't have our Mum like we wanted her or like some others had theirs. You know, at parents evenings, cheering us on a sports events, giving us a cuddle or advice when we needed it, giving us an ear-bashing when we had been up to no good, shopping for weddings dresses/suits with us, being there with us at the births of our children, attending our weddings, popping out for a lunch date or round for Sunday dinner, dancing with us at parties.......you get the gist!
Then, when you think you have semi grieved someone, even when they are still alive and you think that you have prepared yourself for their loss (after a few near misses) because you tell yourself that they will be free from their pain and lack of life quality and you will be free from the sorrow and pain of seeing someone you love so much going through all of that, you realise that you haven't grieved at all and you are not as prepared as you thought you were and you still, selfishly want your Mum, physically able or not, in whatever way you can have her! Just being there, smiling, laughing, to hold her hand or cuddle was enough but now that's gone too and we miss her!
So, enough of that! What next? Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I
thought, what can I do to make a positive difference? I can't bring her back, I wasn't able to give her a miracle cure but I can do something, surely? The MS Society need our support and vital funding to get closer to preventing this disease. We need to crack this, to find out what causes MS, how to prevent or cure it! We also need to be able to help those people currently suffering, so that they can get the care, support or equipment they need to make their lives that little bit more comfortable and easier.
So that's my story. I, with the help of my lovely running buddies, am hoping to raise an immense amount of money by striding 26 miles around London on the 22nd April, probably dressed as an orange fairy in a tutu! I've never run a marathon before. I've done a few 10kms and a couple of Half Marathons in the last couple of years and they were painful enough. A coupIe of years ago, I remember saying to myself, as I nearly threw up crossing the finishing line at the Brighton Half Marathon, "Holy sh*t, there's no way I could now run that again!" I, with the same running buddies and another 96 participants will also be taking on the 14 Mile Slog - a sponsored 'pier to pier' walk from Brighton to Worthing on Saturday 12th May 2018.
Thanks for visiting this page, taking the time to read our stories and donating if you feel the desire to. We are very grateful for any support we can get, it would really mean a lot!
Love George xxx
Mia Gordon - My Story
As a child, teenager and young adult, I had always been overweight.
A combination of a lack of love for exercise, a love for a lot of crisps and little knowledge of nutrition or cooking were the main factors….
In 1998, I snapped the ligament in my knee, was on crutches and underwent physio. When I was healed, I realised that exercise was my friend and not my enemy. The years leading up to the injury, I had also set up my own home and discovered a love of cooking. I joined a gym, ate more healthily and never looked back. Those factors (with a little stress, divorce, family illness and death thrown in) meant that I lost 5 stone over the next 5 years. I have pretty much maintained it to the present day (even with having Riley in 2007), but there’s still a fair amount of wobbliness to banish!
In 2013, a few mums from school started a running group…I had taken part in a few Race for Life 5k’s by jogging so thought I would give it a go! Turned out I loved the feeling of being outside noticing the amazing place we live, the countryside, the sea and of course, spending time with my fabulous running buddies. Without their motivation and company, I wouldn’t have achieved so much. In May 2014, I completed my first 10km race and in February 2016, my first half marathon. I also joined bootcamp and HIIT classes which I loved.
Now is the big one….the Virgin London Marathon 2018! Never would I have dreamed I could get a place, let alone actually do it so the training has begun. The training of the mind is proving harder than the training of the feet!
Having experienced my mum live so bravely through her illness and then sadly lose her fight, I know just how much a debilitating illness can devastate lives. Watching my dad fight lymphoma and come through the other side has also taught me that we must celebrate life and live every minute. To now be running and training with him for the Marathon is also something I never dreamed of and makes the experience all that bit more special.
I have chosen to run for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in support of my amazing running buddy ladies…for Caroline, in celebration and support of her Dad’s fight for the illness day to day and for George, in memory of her mum who sadly passed away earlier this year.
Any amount you can sponsor me will be amazing and massively appreciated.
In return, I will train my socks off and continue my fitness journey (there’s a long way to go!). I can’t promise not to eat any crisps at all though….. ;)
Love Mia xx
Caroline Hunt - My Story
MS has been within our family for as long as I can remember. Firstly with my Nan, and then my dad was diagnosed 8 years ago.
Sport has always been my dad’s life. His first love was cricket and when he could no longer play cricket he took up golf. Recently though, dad had to stop playing golf due to MS. His balance makes it a struggle to even walk, let alone play golf.
Living so far away I cannot offer the day to day support I would like to for my parents, which is why I feel the MS Society is such a fantastic organisation. They provide support to my dad and to my mum, who is my dad’s carer, as they do with so many others who are impacted by MS.
Their group is called the Retford MS Support Group, and they meet the first Friday of every month when the MS nurse and another professional is there for any queries, questions issues etc. They hold lots of social get togethers, for example, Sunday lunches, fish n chip suppers, swimming and yoga.
They also have information days where you can get expert advice on subjects such as; financial help, medical advice, Police advice on mobility scooters, safety on the roads and in the home, on benefits and exercise.
The main thing the group offers is friendship and lots of support,as no two people have the same symptoms. The help these wonderful groups offer is vital for the people affected by this illness, and it would not be possible without the kindness and generosity of those people who give up their time to volunteer.
I am running because my dad can’t, and with the support of my running friends we want to raise awareness of a debilitating disease that affects so many people, young and old, in so many different ways.
Anything you can give will be amazing, thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support.
Love Caroline xx
John Wright - My Story
About four years ago I was diagnosed with high grade Lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy and had to stop working as I was a gardener. Once the treatment was completed I knew that I needed to increase my exercise and took up running. I was lucky that the Lymphoma was at an early stage and have now been signed off.
I regularly do the Parkrun, have completed several 10ks and 3 half marathons and luckily got into the London Marathon on the ballot so will run with my daughter Mia and her friends for the MS Society.