I have chosen to raise money for the National Eczema Society because I have witnessed first-hand the physical and emotional toll these conditions have had on my partner, also a graduate of the University of Lincoln, who has been suffering from eczema for the past 7 years. Alongside eczema, she also suffers from other skin conditions including atopic dermatitis (and asthma, hayfever, rhinitis), contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, neurodermatitis and urticaria. Before meeting her I, like many, was ignorant of how extreme eczema and related conditions could be, but I have since learnt the debilitating effect it can have on day to day life.
|Me and my gorgeous girlfriend Jenny|
|Jenny during a bad skin flare|
For many eczema is a mild irritation that with the right treatment can be dealt with and kept under control. For others it is a debilitating condition which means fortnightly hospital appointments, routine blood tests, weepy skin, skin infections and a seemingly endless collection of medication. In my experience Eczema is a condition that the majority of the public are aware of, but as a whole are ignorant of the severe forms the condition can take.
This year I am going to extreme lengths to raise awareness of the extreme forms of eczema, and how for many it is a chronic condition that has complete control over their life. As a keen runner, I had the intention of raising money for this cause through running, with the initial idea having been to potentially run the London Marathon. However, the more I thought about the cause, the more I realised how I would have to do something big to stand out from the thousands of other charity runners. This is where the idea of my 1000km challenge was born, where I would run not one, but six marathons alongside 26 half marathons and 20 10ks. A year of running, far beyond anything I have done before, that would push my body to the limits and make people more aware of the severity of the condition.
For a full list of the races I am running this year check the sidebar to the right, or to see exactly where I am running this year check out the map below. For more information about eczema check out Jenny's blog 'I have eczema' to learn about how she copes with her condition.