How my parents inspired me to run the London Marathon

Young man with his mum and dad

Growing up as an only child with two profoundly deaf parents meant I experienced first-hand the challenges of living with the loss of a sense. There are so many difficult situations that come with sensory loss that go beyond simply not being able to see or hear, such as the ability to communicate.

Communication’s increasingly vital in our world, but it became more obvious to me as I got older, that the less support my family and I were able to give my parents, the more they would struggle.

When you can’t communicate effectively, it makes it extremely difficult to integrate into your community and society, and life can quickly become isolating. A simple trip to the local shops can present a multitude of issues and it can be quite a daunting thing to do. What if the person behind the counter doesn’t understand you? Will you be able to negotiate that main road you need to cross to get there in the first place?

Support is invaluable

My parents were fortunate enough to have a few people around them to help as-and-when they could, and they also used the services of charities specifically for deaf people.

Although they didn’t require support from Sense, I got to hear about the charity from the local Deaf Centre; as my parents have friends who are profoundly deaf who later experienced deteriorating eyesight.

The work Sense does in helping people lead as fulfilling a life as possible is invaluable. With just that little bit of extra support, so much more can be achieved by deafblind people, and it can completely open up the world around them.

Of course Sense also provide assistance to those people who are supporting their deafblind friends and family members. I know that without the support of my family and deaf charities, I likely wouldn’t have been able to cope. Having that extra backing is invaluable.

What inspires me to run

I’d always wanted to run a marathon, but never really thought I could! When I realised I would be able to fulfil a personal ambition, whilst at the same time helping people less fortunate than myself, of course I jumped at the chance.

Something my Grandma had written simply said, ‘one small act of kindness will have made the day worthwhile’. Running 26.2 miles, knowing that the money I have raised will help so many people, very much makes the pain and hard work worthwhile.

The past five months of training have been long and gruelling. My body is paying the price, but I find inspiration to carry on in the work the charity does. I find inspiration in my parents. I find inspiration in everyone with a disability who perseveres each day in the face of adversity, and more often than not, they do so with smiles on their faces!

Our world-view is shaped by the things we see and hear. Sense are simply enabling deafblind people to increase their own view of the world.

Right, three weeks to go… let’s do this!

Visit Andy’s Just Giving page to sponsor him and if you’re interested in following in his footsteps, we’d love you to run, walk or cycle for Team Sense.

Sign up today to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2018!

Author: Andrew Gosling

Andrew Gosling is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Sense. Both his parents are profoundly deaf, giving Andrew personal insight into the impact of sensory loss.

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