MANCHESTER DIARY
Louise takes on a marathon challenge

CHALLENGE: Louise Berwin

A DISABLED mother is adamant she can walk the 26 miles of the London Marathon to support her sick son.

Louise Berwin, 60, will be taking the challenge on Sunday, April 26 with a four-wheeled walker in order to raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Louise, married to Harold, has fallen twice in the past seven years, causing damage to the nerve in her left leg and her ankle.

When her 28-year-old son, James, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma last year, she felt impelled to sign up for the marathon to support the charity.

The Londoner explained: "I was angry about my son's illness so decided to write a letter to explain I was registered disabled and I would have to walk in the marathon.

"I will be walking with my friend Elizabeth Shrager, whose husband, Robert, died from another blood cancer, myeloma, six years ago."

James discovered he had Hodgkin's Lymphoma in September when he found a lump on the back of his neck. He was diagnosed three weeks later.

He has put his surgical training on hold for a year to undergo his chemotherapy, which he started in October.

There is a cure rate of 70 to 90 per cent with this treatment.

"It is extremely important for people to donate to this charity as it needs 20 million for research towards treatment," Louise added.

She has already raised more than 6,000 of her 10,000 target.

"I have so far walked 13.5 miles in practice," she said.

"A lot of people have told me I shouldn't be walking the marathon, but I know I have to."

Louise met marathon runner Paula Radcliffe a couple of weeks ago.

She recalled: "She was so supportive and a true inspiration."

James will not be able to be at the marathon due to his chemotherapy, but will be cheering his mother on from home.

Louise added: "The sanctimonious attitude of not giving medals to people who don't finish is wrong.

"Participating and fundraising needs to be acknowledged.

"It is extremely important for people living with disabilities to be given the opportunity to fully take part in all activities."

www.justgiving.com/Louise-Berwin



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