Since October 2016 Mandi has been completing the 500 in 1 challenge. This includes the Bright 10 Mile Run (Brighton), the Great South Run, the Box Hill Tough (10k high climb hill run, Surrey), the Heartbreaker Marathon (26.2 mile new Forrest trail run), Cranliegh 15 mile, the Hundred Acre Half Marathon (13 miles with extreme hills!), the Off Road Trail Run and the Brighton Marathon (26.2 mile road run). Mandi has completed 106 miles and has 394 to go. Here Mandi outlines the reason why she is raising money and working incredibly hard for the Marfan Trust. Here she explains why...
I have never considered myself a runner, or indeed someone who even wanted to run!!!... I was always very active as a child and rode horses, cycled and swam a lot, but have always struggled with my weight. For that reason, running has never come easilly to me.
Now that I am a parent and am lucky enough to have 2 brave, beautiful and truly amazing children, who have Marfan syndrome, (inherited from their father's side of the family), I am determined to show them that they can achieve their dreams and goals in life if they stay strong and keep reaching for their 'happy place'.
Because Marfan syndrome can be such a physically limiting and debilitating condition, I feel we as parents often discourage our children from certain physical activity, sometimes making them seem less able and different from their friends. This saddens me, and I don't like to take that approach with my children.
As parents, I think it is important that we encourage our children to participate in as much as they can in life.... at a safe level for them.
My children know their limitations, and are often frustrated by them, but we work through their struggles and pains together in a safe way, and I still encourage and support them to be as physically active as they wish to be, within their capabilities.
Running has enabled me to demonstrate to my children on a consistent daily basis, that we can all achieve our dreams if we keep trying and never give up. They know I don't find running easy, and they are well aware of their condition (they are 12 and 10 years old). They also know that I am running in aid of The Marfan Trust to support their future medical health care.
My children are also hoping to be involved by fund and awareness raising at school, and maybe even running a short distance children's run, to count towards our mission of 500 event miles in one year.
The Marfan Trust work so very hard to further develop awareness, knowledge and medication for this sometimes terribly debilitating condition. As a family, we want to help support all their amazing efforts, to hopefully one day find a cure.
We are determined to raise as much awareness and donations as possible over the year through our challenge, and hope to positively encourage others affected by Marfan syndrome, and other physically limiting conditions, to be brave and never give up on their dreams.