ARTHRITIC MAN RUNNING A MARATHON

The headline may sound
dramatic but it is both technically and medically accurate. My name is Dave
Pearson and I have rheumatoid arthritis, it is a long-term condition that
causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. You may also know me as the
Race Director for the Kirkbymoorside 10k.

I
was diagnosed with this incurable condition at the end of 2015 after a year or
so of various joint issues and complaints. Thankfully, we have a very good team
of GPs in Kirkbymoorside, the signs were spotted early and I was referred
quickly. Having caught the condition in its early stages I was soon put on a medication
used to slow its progression and limit damage to my joints.

My
first thoughts on being diagnosed were “will I ever to be able to run again” as
I have been a keen runner since taking up the sport in 2011. Worryingly, my
consultant was rather downbeat on that proposition but thankfully Dr Hughes at
Kirkbymoorside Surgery was far more supportive and optimistic. With that
encouragement, my own research and the fact I was starting to feel good again I
returned to running in early 2016 with the attitude that I shall run for as
long as I feel able.

I continued running all year but I was lacking motivation.
I had only taken part in a single event all year and that was a sprint
triathlon in Catterick. I had started mixing up running with swimming and
cycling to limit the impact on my joints but I needed a new challenge to keep
me motivated. So, as 2016 drew to a close, I decided to reignite my desire to
run a marathon. Some quick Internet searching brought me to the Blackpool
Marathon on the 23rd April and I quickly signed up.

Raising
money for any charity is always difficult and asking for donations is not
something that comes naturally to us all. I am in the spectrum of people who
want to raise money for charity but find it hard to ask. But, I am pushing that
boundary now. I decided to use this marathon run as an opportunity to raise
money for the British Heart Foundation. This may seem odd considering my
rheumatoid arthritis, however 2017 marks 10 years since I lost my Dad at 62 to
a sudden heart attack so it feels fitting to raise funds in his memory at the
moment.

My aim is to raise £500 in sponsorship. So far, on my Just
Giving page, I have raised £70 and in old fashioned paper sponsorship I have raised
a further £80 meaning I have £350 to secure to reach my target. I am always so
grateful for any sponsorship donation I receive – no matter the amount; I would
be equally happy to reach my target with 500 £1 donations as 50 £10 donations.

If
you would like to make a donation of any size please head to my Just Giving
page at www.justgiving.com/TheYorkshireDad.

People
will probably see my out and about pounding the local streets, lanes and tracks
with my dogs, a Dalmatian and Labrador (mostly the Labrador as our Dalmatian is
getting on a bit). But at the moment you’d have to be up rather early to catch
me on my morning runs! If you do see me please do say hello, give me a wave or
a toot of your horn.

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