I am a single mother to three boys. My two younger sons both have syndromes without a name. We live on the south coast in Bournemouth. My two boys have a number of conditions and two chromosome duplications, however, it still doesn’t cover the reasons why my sons have some of the issues they do. They do go to mainstream school and the older one who is now 13 has a full time one-one throughout the whole school day.
Some days are good days and my boys can do most things other kids can do, but they also have days where their numerous conditions cause problems and they need a wheelchair or hospital stay.
What inspired you to take on this challenge?
I became a SWAN UK Parent Rep last year for the Bournemouth area, and, prior to that had been on many meetups and days out through SWAN UK. The support and friendships I have made from these experiences have been priceless. I knew how much hard work went into the everyday running and organising from the team back at SWAN UK HQ and how important it is for the support network to have funding to allow it to support families in the way they do.
I have got so much out of the SWAN UK network so decided it was about time I put something back in to show my appreciation.
Had you done much running prior to this?
I had never run more than 5k prior to receiving my ballot and had only completed the Couch to 5k the year before.
Why did you choose to run for SWAN UK?
All the time I have been a member I have had so much support form SWAN UK. Without a doubt there was no other organisation I would have wanted to run for.
How did you manage the training?
Initially I found it difficult to keep myself in line with the programme I had chosen. I signed up to a small local gym and got some personal training and advice which helped a lot.
Did you have a secret weapon?
Just sheer determination to complete it so I could raise money.
What was the hardest moment?
I have a few disabilities myself and at mile eighteen my knee hyperextended and then popped to the side. I could just about walk but took some painkillers and time to re-tape it to get the support I needed. After about two miles I was able to run again and complete the marathon.
What got you through this hardest moment?
Knowing that I would have achieved something I never thought was possible for me and to make sure I got the funds for SWAN UK.
What was the best moment?
When my sons came to find me at mile 23 and I saw the face of my middle son and it just told me how proud he was of me.
Would you do it again?
Yes I have put a ballot in for next year, so fingers crossed I get a letter in October telling me I have a place.
Would you recommend it to others?
It is definitely something I would recommend. It is an amazing achievement and the whole atmosphere throughout is just unbelievable.
Can you sum up your experience in less than ten words?
An absolutely amazing experience and a personal achievement.