Karen’s cousin Michael Mitchell was diagnosed with MND in 2008 when he was just 33 years old.
MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles. This may cause someone to lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink or breathe unaided.
Karen said, “Michael’s symptoms probably started in 2006 but he wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2008. He’s now wheelchair bound but is battling on very courageously and is supported by his amazing wife and family.”
Mum to Michael (22), Callum (21) and Erin (14), Karen is a merchandiser for Hallmark Cards. On 8th September she’ll be putting her limits to the test by travelling to the Hebridean island of Tiree, to run an ultra-marathon in aid of MND Scotland.
Karen said, “I started running about two years ago and was barely able to finish a 5k. My friend Jim is my training partner, as well as all my fellow running buddies at Leven Las Vegas Running Club.
“Becoming a member of the running club gave me the courage to conquer anything put my way. Last year I completed my first half marathon and since then have been taking part in many other races just for fun.
“This year I’ve decided to really put myself to the test by running a 35 mile ultra-marathon. Tiree is going to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Training is going well and my longest run to date is 26.5 miles.
“I know it won’t be easy but I am very much looking forward to this event and I’m delighted to be doing it for MND Scotland. They have made a huge difference to the life of my cousin Michael, and his family, as well as to the lives of many other MND sufferers in Scotland. I’ve already raised over £650 and am aiming to reach my target of £1,500 before the big day. I would like to thank everyone who has already supported me, as well ask as many others as possible to lend their support to this worthy cause.”
Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s head of fundraising said, “This is an amazing challenge for Karen to take on, and we’re so grateful she’s chosen to do it for MND Scotland. Without supporters like this we wouldn’t be able to continue funding ground-breaking research into MND, or provide vital support to families across the country. Everyone at MND Scotland is wishing Karen the best of luck for her challenge!”
To donate to Karen’s fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/karen-richards22.