I'm Vinay, and I'm looking to raise £2,500 to fund lupus research.
To help me do this, I'm hoping you'll sponsor me to run all around Edinburgh in May 2013.
Why should I do this?
1) Because you're bloody lovely, you are. Really bloody lovely.
2) You're not bloody lovely, but the idea of my physically suffering warms your chilly corporate heart.
3) My left leg is half a centimetre shorter than my right leg, which means my run tends to be an amusing, clomping motion. The fine people of Edinburgh could do with some entertainment outside of Fringe season, and I intend to give it to them. Support your dour northern neighbours!
But what the heck is lupus?
Basically, it's a disorder of the immune system (the body's natural defence against illness and infections) that overwhelming affects young women. While our immune system usually does a fine job keeping us well, when a person contracts lupus it goes into overdrive and instead of dealing with the bad stuff like viruses and bacteria, it starts to attack healthy cells.
When my mum was diagnosed, she was treated at St. Thomas' Hospital in Lambeth, which is why I'd like to help the St. Thomas' Lupus Trust - a small but focused charity dedicated to supporting lupus research at the hospital. Though it wasn't around to help my mum and she didn't recover, 25 years later survival rates for lupus are much better, in part due to the work of organisations like the St. Thomas' Lupus Trust.
But it remains a complex, still-not-very-well-understood condition and there's lot more research to be done.
So if you've got a bit of Xmas money spare, I'd be grateful if you'd be willing to part with a fraction of it for a good cause. Even if it's just a stray quid you think went down the back of the sofa, post turkey dinner, let me know and I'll gladly stick my hand down there and have a rummage for it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this - you can find out some more about both the disease and the trust by clicking here.
(Aged 27, running 26 miles, remembering 25 years)