Running the London Marathon for Ataxia UK

Jane Spivey's fundraising page

Jane Spivey

My page:

Hello! Thank you for visiting my fundraising page :)

What I'm fundraising for...

My brother Tim and his wife Alice suffer from ataxia, a progressive neurological condition that affects balance, coordination and speech.

They are two of over 10,000 people in the UK who suffer from one of the many types of ataxia and it can leave sufferers completely dependant on others for their needs.

The prospect of finding a cure or effective treatment for ataxia is better today than ever, with some amazing advances in research during the last few years. I really want to do something to help raise money for continued funding through Ataxia UK.

Why the London Marathon?

I am not what you would call a natural runner and the thought of running 26.2 miles terrifies me! But I hope because the London Marathon is such a well-known and gruelling event, it will give me the best chance to raise as much money as possible.

I'm following a 5-session per week training programme that I hope will get me to the start and over the finish line in one piece, no matter what the time on the clock. I know it's not going to be easy, but what will really help me to stay motivated and get up to run on these cold winter mornings is receiving donations and watching the total increase towards the target.

I really appreciate anything you're able to donate, however big or small, and realise this is probably one of many requests you'll receive this year. Although my target is £3,000, I will be so happy if I can raise more than this!

A little more about Tim and Alice...

Tim was diagnosed with ataxia aged 21 having first developed symptoms in his late teens, including loss of coordination and balance. He's always coped very well with the condition as it has got progressively worse, but meeting his wife Alice through Ataxia UK in 2004 has helped him deal with the day-to-day challenges even better.

Alice was diagnosed aged 19 when she was a promising musician studying at the Royal Academy of Music. She noticed it became more and more difficult to play the piano and bassoon as her coordination began to deteriorate and it wasn't long before she couldn't play at all.

Now aged 39 and 33 respectively, and married for five years, they live in Hereford and both work part-time at the Royal National College for the Blind. They walk with sticks to aid their balance and use wheelchairs when going longer distances. Together they cope incredibly well and they also run an internet forum to offer support to other sufferers in the UK and around the world.

The charity - Ataxia UK

Ataxia UK has been supporting people with ataxia and their families for over 40 years and has spent over £3million funding research during recent years, which it hopes to increase in the future. The charity doesn't receive any government funding and relies very heavily on fundraising, which is why I want to try and raise as much as possible.