Monday, June 03, 2013

My Monday motivation - Road-to-Berlin (2)

Charity - which aside for beginning at home - is one of the biggest motivations for many runners in large events. For me the charity doesn't so much begin at home as it is close to home, a member of my close family. I am planning to run the 2013 Berlin marathon for my eldest niece, who last year at the age of nine was diagnosed with type I diabetes.

Over Christmas in the aftermath of the diagnosis I was telling everyone of my plan to run two marathons in 2013 and how I would like to run one of them for a diabetes charity for my niece. My niece was pleased at the thought though was a little unsure of which charity I should run for. In the UK their are two leading diabetes charities that I am aware of - one supporting primary research as a lead focus and the other supporting patients and families with the disease as their lead focus. As a researcher myself I was drawn very heavily towards the former, but in the end my niece chose the latter as in fact a nurse from the charity - DiabetesUK - had visited her in the days immediately after the diagnosis and made a clear and lasting impression on her. So then the deal was struck with my niece - I would run the Berlin marathon (a major city 'World Series' marathon) for DiabetesUK to repay that kindness and to support their ongoing good work.
Click to visit their homepage
Click to visit their homepage
I have, of course, a JustGiving page set up for my efforts and even though I am struggling right now with a knee issue I will try to raise money regardless of whether I toe the start line on race day or not. If you have any coins, notes, credit or whatever to spare my niece, the charity, and I would be so grateful if you can give what you can.

My niece has taken really well to the new regimen of multi per-day tests and injections, happily she was old enough at diagnosis / onset to understand much of what she needs to do and why. Going forward her and her family will undoubtedly face challenges, but for the time being she is super active (swimming as a member of a local swimming club) and is smart enough to tackle any challenges head on. Going forward I rest assured that the healthcare where my sister and family live is meeting their needs and that there are wonderful charities like Diabetes UK there to pick up any gaps whilst providing terrific patient advocacy.

As a small footnote, I am not in any way financially supported by the charity to go to the race, I am not part of any kind of all-in charity travel / race package. My wife and I will (fitness permitting) make our own way to Berlin for the race and so forth. The charity have very kindly provided me a sponsor pack with further information about their work, a sponsor form, and one of their racing vests which I will wear with pride on race day.

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