Whilst studying at university, at the age of 21 I started to experience certain symptoms which were making me feel really unwell. After numerous visits to the doctors and the hospital for many check ups, in 2008 I was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It was all very scary at first especially when I was put on different types of medication which made feel really weak.
I struggled to cope with this new found condition and frequent visits to the hospital just did not help. I was fighting myself within to try and find a solution, every time I would go to my doctor I would just be referred to the hospital or prescribed strong steriods.
When I requested my doctor to refer me to a dietician he simple advised me that they will not be able to help me and my condition is very common and those who suffer are hitting their heads against a wall, there is no definite cure and it’s something you have to live with. I felt really helpless which affected me as a person. I felt really frustrated and questioned why I had to experience this nasty condition. Why me?
By this time a year had flown by and I signed myself up to run the BUPA Manchester 10k race. I had 4 weeks to train so I went to local my gym and ran 3 times a week. Whilst training for the race I managed to raise money for a local hospice.
On the day of the race I got up early and caught the bus to Manchester. Once I arrived at the location I experienced a whole different feeling. The atmosphere on the day of the event was something else. I managed to complete the race and met a lot of amazing runners. From this point I decided I was going to challenge myself and carry on running.
Running gave me a great sense of relief. It was as if I belonged amongst those people who were running on the day. Each runner had an inspirating story to tell. Every runner was running to fundraise for their personal causes. I realised there was far more greater illnesses that people suffer. My condition was nothing compared to what these people suffer in the world.
From this point I decided I would take control of my condition and do whatever I could to cope with it. I continued to run and started to live a healthier lifestyle. Eventually I could see the change in myself and I learnt to live with my condition. I am so grateful that running showed me my way of life and has given me the strength to set new goals and to believe in myself.
Since 2009 I have taken part in new running challenges every year which have enabled me to raise money for some amazing charities. I wish to continue with the running and raising money for some amazing causes out there.
The picture featured above is from the Manchester 10k race which I completed in 2015. I raised money for Community Action Nepal, which is a charity that helped those affected by the devastating earthquake which killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000, leaving thousands of people homeless.
I am so happy I found my love for running. It’s helped me cope with my condition and also inspired me to challenge myself and do what I love!