Running for lupus

(Photo by talkie_tim)

As I may have mentioned several times already, I will be running the Bristol 10k on 7 May, which is approaching fast. I’m running to raise money for Lupus UK, hence the pose above.

I have blogged before about the fact that in 2007 I was diagnosed with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus). It was scary at first, because this is a disease that can affect everything in the body, cause organ failure and blood clots and all sorts of things I hadn’t expected to worry about in my 20s. I have been relatively lucky in that I have spent the last 10 years learning to cope with lupus’s milder side: fatigue, joint pains, rashes, headaches, photosensitivity, etc. Key to coping has been forcing myself to exercise.

The last time my Mum talked me into running for charity, it was a 5k race in 2009, while I was really struggling to manage my fatigue. I found that race so hard, but in recent years I’ve taken up running again on and off and discovered that with a bit of balance, I can get better at it. When I told my Mum last year I was regularly running 5k now, she set me this new challenge: run 10k for Lupus UK.

I’ll be running the race with my Mum (a seasoned runner) and my brother Adam (who has never run 10k), and we are fundraising for Lupus UK for two reasons. They were a really important source of information and support for all of us when I was first diagnosed. And they do important work researching this disease, investigating treatments and funding specialist care around the UK. When I read my Lupus UK magazine I am reminded that for many patients lupus is a severe illness and there is currently no cure.

I have a JustGiving page if you feel inclined to give a donation to keep this small but important charity going. But I think it’s also really important to raise awareness, so it would be great if you would read a little about lupus.

Here’s to three weeks’ time when I can give myself a rest, maybe cut down the running schedule to twice a week. And here’s hoping I have a few years before my Mum tries to talk me into a half marathon!