Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Why are we trying to raise money? What is the journey we've been on?

I have recently been talking a lot about our personal story and saying we’ve had a journey to get to this point. So for those that don’t know us here is a little insight into why I say this.

Gary and I got married 4 years ago, at that time Gary was in huge amounts of pain and unable to walk without a stick. The future looked bleak for him, he was unable to walk around to the local shops. I was driving him everywhere and for every journey I was considering how close I could park, minimise the walking and help him as much as possible. He was unable to do the things he loved and was rapidly gaining weight due to lack of exercise and low moods. As a result of his foot condition, Ledderhose Disease, he decided to stop his PhD and find a job which was less active where he could sit down each day. There was no suitable treatment available to him on the NHS so, due to family and friends, we raised the money for him to have radiotherapy privately. Amazingly this treatment was effective and over the last 4 years the pain has gone and the lump significantly reduced in size.

Gary has gone from barely being able to walk to being able to run.. pain free.. He’s had a significant amount of weight to lose, he has now lost 100lbs! He has worked hard on his training and is doing really well with his running. He has now signed up for a half marathon for next year and is targeting a marathon in the future. It is so hard to describe the massive change that has occurred in the last 4 years. To describe just how bad the situation was with him and how it’s gone from all we think about to barely even passing my mind at all.

Shortly after Gary’s radiotherapy finished we found out I was pregnant. we barely had time to absorb the joy of the positive test result before the sickness overtook me and I ended up in hospital for the first time. I ended up needing to spend the whole pregnancy resting and on the sofa, fighting to eat and drink enough to sustain my body. I was on anti sickness meds the whole time and in a constant battle with the medical professionals to get the help I required. After this I ended up having a horrid labour, blood loss and an infection. The short story is that I ended up with Post Natal Depression and scars from the whole situation. Anyone that’s had depression knows how hard it is to do anything, I had to continue to look after our daughter but the rest of the time passed in a blur really. Due to this, my body entering starvation mode during pregnancy and the general stresses of life I ended up gaining several stone of weight. Again I feel like I can’t really explain why I think it’s been such a journey and I know some of you won’t understand this at all.. but I’ve picked myself up and carried on. I’ve lost 5 stone now and am regularly running 3 times a week. I have run and exercised in my life previously but I have now achieve new personal bests on my 5 Km times and am aiming for a 10Km best.

So why this run?

Gary’s Nan died last year from Pancreatic Cancer. It was a very short battle and it was spotted too late for there to be any treatment. It was a complete shock to the family as she was the youngest and healthiest of his grandparents. We chose this run because firstly it’s in Worthing, this is where Gary’s Nan lived and it will be passing very close to her house. Secondly we chose this run because it’ll be around the year anniversary of her death. We are doing this run in her memory and with much love and emotion. This is not just a 10Km to us, this is an important run, it’s a run for her, it’s a run for us and it’s a run for her family.

If you'd like to donate to our cause the link is here:
https://www.justgiving.com/Gary-Manley

Manley Family