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Caroline Whittaker avatar
Caroline Whittaker

Put your positive pants on!!

I am running the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for Newcastle University - Mitochondrial Research Fund because It is a cause very close to my heart

287 %
£1,438.44
raised of £500 target
by 74 supporters
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  • In memory of: Anna Bishop
  • Event: Rock 'n' Roll Liverpool Marathon 2018, 20 May 2018

Newcastle University - Mitochondrial Research Fund

We fund Mitochondrial research to improve the lives of patients.

Charity Registration No. n/a

Story

I met Anna back in 2006. We were both at a bit of a low ebb back then, and leant on each other a lot. We developed a firm friendship, based on a shared set of circumstances, a silly sense of humour, love of music, mixtapes...and Anna’s patience with me getting us lost on a regular basis!

I was aware that Anna had some difficulties from when I first met her. She didn’t really talk about them too much; she had her pride, and just seemed to want to get on with life. She had difficulties walking long distances and sometimes found it a struggle to swallow; a problem that went on for years before she got a diagnosis. I’m sure there were many more symptoms that she didn’t talk about, and she was misdiagnosed, and I think, felt misunderstood by the medical profession for years.

It was a long road, but eventually, after many appointments and tests, Anna was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease. https://www.umdf.org/what-is-mitochondrial-disease/ Sadly, there is no cure for this group of diseases currently, only treatments to help manage symptoms.

Anna was subsequently treated by the specialist team in Newcastle, who provide the specialist care that these patients need, and are dedicated to research to improve patients’ lives. I remember Anna talking about the relief of finally having a diagnosis, and access to specialist advice and support, despite there being a lot of uncertainty about prognosis.

Anna maintained her typical sense of humour, which I think in some ways shielded me from the seriousness of her condition. She referred to her symptoms like an inconvenience, getting in the way of her blooming well living her life. She really did live life to the full as much as she could, and remains one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met.

When she passed away in April last year, from what had started as a migraine and chest infection, I was left in complete shock. She was only 34, and unbeknownst to me, had planned her own funeral. At the funeral she requested that any donations go to Mitochondrial Research.

Running became a bit of a therapy for me after Anna passed away. It started as a jog around my local park, which was a bit of a struggle as I was very unfit. Still, it cleared my head, and I thought that I might try a parkrun, my aim being to get around, nothing more. I needed cajoling when the alarm went off on that first Saturday morning, but put my trainers on and gave it a go. Needless to say I got “the bug” and it turned in to a regular thing. It wasn’t long before I thought that I might as well put this running to good use, and try to raise some money in honour of the person who inspired me to get out of the door in the first place.

We had a silly phrase that we used to say to each other, that came off the back of a postcard. It said “put your positive pants on”. So that’s what I’m going to do for my friend...put my positive pants on (!) and run a very long way...
To increase awareness
To fund research
To fund support
http://www.newcastle-mitochondria.com

Thank you for reading and for your support. It means the world!


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