Sense is part of my family and always has been. In 1978 my brother Robert was born deaf and blind, and with a heart defect – all because my mum caught rubella at three months pregnant. Rob is older than me, but as I grew up, I remember all the fights and battles my parents faced. But one thing was consistent – that my family always had Sense’s support.
A family connection
Both my parents became very involved with Sense in the Midlands – we spent many a day in Edgebaston, Birmingham. We met other families, went to weekends away, and Rob went on holidays most years. As Rob grew older it became harder, but the support network my family had was always there.
In 1998, when I was 17 and Rob was 19, my mum sadly died. This was extremely hard, especially as Rob was about to start transition from college to a permanent new home. But my mum died knowing that Rob had secured a permanent place in a Sense home in Kings Norton, Birmingham and he would live a happy and contented life.
Rob has been there ever since and has the most wonderful home and staff. He is extremely happy and well cared for, which is all we have ever asked for.
Ready to run the marathon
Two years ago I decided it was time for a new challenge; I mean having three children with all different needs, going to university, running a brownie pack and being a district commissioner wasn’t enough! I decided it was time for me. I wanted to lose weight and get fit. My friend was a runner and I felt inspired. She coached and encouraged me from being able to run for two minutes, to completing my first 5k.
For the first time in a long time, I realised running gave me the freedom and the challenge I needed for myself. I went from posting 5k runs to managing 10k. I went from not being able to run at all, to running 10k through sheer determination.
Last year I was sat watching the London Marathon and began thinking, ‘I could do that! I mean I’m running a half marathon in October and I would then have plenty of time to train’.
So as I write this, there’s three weeks to go until the big day. I have completed my last long run of 20 miles. I am not going to say it has been easy, but through those tough times I remember why I am doing this, how proud my mum would have been, and the support my family and friends have given me.