You may not know my story so forgive the little recap if you do. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in December 2015. To say it was a shock would be understating it somewhat. But thankfully it was caught early and I was put on treatment immediately.
The course of steroids that started my treatment dealt with the immediate issue of my swollen fingers and joint pains in my upper body. Following this, I moved onto methotrexate, this is known as a disease-modifying drug.
Rheumatoid arthritis is basically the body’s immune system attacking soft tissue, usually in and around joints. So, a simple way of looking at the medication I take would be that it weakens the immune system and stops it from causing damage in this tissue.
I’ve been lucky, and I know it.
Being diagnosed early is always going to help. I was young and my symptoms weren’t anywhere near as bad as some people get it. I will be forever thankful that my GP spotted the signs from the plethora of joint relates issues I was visiting him with.
Initially, my consultant told me that would have to stop running. This destroyed me. The thought of never running again was unbearable. However, my GP wasn’t so blunt. He advised that plenty of people with rheumatoid arthritis continue with active lives and participating in sports so why should I be any different.
Thankfully I never saw that consultant again and the one I’ve been with since, along with all the nurse specialists at York, have been wonderful. They’re very supportive of my running and we have a deal – if it hurts I will stop.
I went on to complete the 2017 Blackpool marathon in a time of 3 hours and 55 minutes. And now I am about to return…
Versus Arthritis is a UK charity that contributes to leading research into the treatment of arthritis, campaigns for it to be seen as a priority and help to support those with the various forms of the disease.
I have decided to use the fact I am running the Blackpool Marathon on Sunday 6th April 2020 as an opportunity to raise money for Versus Arthritis.
I am very much VERSUS ARTHRITIS. With every run, I am fighting against a chronic disease that I feel one day will catch up with me. This is the primary driving force behind me feeling the need to fundraise for this charity.
Fundraising is hard and asking people for money is even harder. I have set my target at £500. Not a small amount of money and still a challenge in a short space of time. But, not so high that I would focus more on that than training for the marathon.
Whether a person donates £1 or £100 I would be grateful for the support. I’d be as happy with 500 £1 donations as I would with 100 £5 or 5 £100 donations. It’s all the same in the end.
To help me reach my fundraising target visit justgiving.com/TheYorkshireDad-Blackpool2020.
If you suffer from arthritis and fight to remain active like me then I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and your support