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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Trio in the running for a marathon challenge

Three West Cumbrians will run the London Marathon on April 22 to raise money for charity.

Yaz Chaudhri, 20, of Bridekirk, Paul Jackson, 38, of Hawthorn Close, Distington, and Peter Wells, 39, of Keswick, will tackle the 26.2-mile route through the capital.

Former Cockermouth School pupil Yaz will run for Action for ME as her brother Ben suffers from the condition.

She said: “My older brother Ben has had severe ME for more than 11 years.

“At his worst he was tube fed, bed bound, paralysed and barely able to speak.

“He had severe sensitivity to light and noise, extremely disorientated vision and was frequently sick.”

However, after two years he began to show signs of improvement.

Yaz said that in 2008 he was able to stop tube feeding and in 2010 he was able to spend a few days out of bed in a supportive reclining armchair.

She added: “In the summer of 2010 he occasionally spent some time in the garden but otherwise had not left the house for 10 years.

“He is now 21 and has had no formal education since he was 10 but astonishes us with the amount he has taught himself and has worked through a couple of Open University courses.

“He very much enjoys conversation with us and family friends but sadly has lost his peer friendships as he was young when he became ill.”

Yaz said that since the start of last year her brother had been able to stand and walk with support and was beginning to gain more independence. He hopes to go to university but the future remains uncertain.

Yaz added: “It does have an impact on the whole of the family and it is awful because there is nothing you can do.

“Some of the medical profession don’t understand ME but the main thing now is seeing him get better.”

Yaz hopes to raise £2,000 and has so far collected £1,200.

She said: “Action for ME has been a lifeline for my family, and many others affected by ME.

“Not only am I hoping to raise plenty of money, but raising awareness of this relatively unknown and poorly understood illness is of equal importance to me.”

The money will help to fund research, produce publications and campaigns to raise awareness of the disease.

For Paul Jackson, who works at Tata Steel in Workington, this will be his seventh London Marathon.

This year he will raise money for Support Our Soldiers, after being approached by the charity’s Cumbria co-ordinator Ryan Winthrop.

Support Our Soldiers sends parcels to servicemen and women overseas.

Paul said: “I want to give something back to the soldiers over there.”

Peter Wells, a director of the Castle Inn Hotel in Bassenthwaite, hopes to raise £3,000 for national children’s charity Children with Cancer UK.

He is also offering a free hotel stay for guests who take up a challenge to beat his time.

Guests will be invited to post their times on the hotel gym’s treadmills on the morning of the marathon, and anyone who beats Peter’s time will get their weekend accommodation break for free.

He said: “I wanted an additional challenge to running the London Marathon and thought this would provide an incentive to keep going and post a reasonable time.”

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