David Elliot, who lives with MS, is raising money for the MS Centre in Bradley Stoke by running the London Marathon in April. The Interchange will be following his fundraising and training efforts in the run up to the event.
In this first feature, in his own words, David explains his motivation…
In 2011 I celebrated having MS for 10 years by running the London Marathon for the first time. The main reason for running was to try and help newly diagnosed people with MS realise that being diagnosed with MS doesn’t mean a life of incapacity.
I was diagnosed with MS in August 2001, my first symptoms having begun in the April of the same year. I intended to make 2011 a year of challenges to celebrate my 10 years of having MS rather than crying about it!
My previous treks to China and Kilimanjaro taught me a lot about sharing, and where I’m quite private about my feelings regarding MS, I feel that it is important to let others know, especially recently diagnosed (don’t like the word sufferers) MS people, that life doesn’t end as soon as you’re given the news.
Apart from the above I wanted to complete the London Marathon for my own selfish reason to prove to myself I’m not a “cripple”, excuse the wording. Also I was 40 in 2011 and there was a little mid-life crisis going on!
In short if I get to run and complete the 26+ miles I would be happy to be used and abused in any way if it helps newly diagnosed people.
By 2015, after completing four London marathons, the Snowdonia marathon and numerous other runs I decided to set myself a bigger challenge.
Why not do three in a year, London in April, Edinburugh in May and then Snowdonia in October! And that’s what I did.
In 2019 I will run my ninth London Marathon – making it my 25th marathon.
The main reason for writing this is to say to anybody, you can do it, any goal is achievable – a 5km walk, swimming 20 lengths, running a marathon or simply getting enough energy to get out of bed is achievable as long as you have the self belief and determination.
Don’t let anybody say you can’t! Especially you!