First of all I must warn you I’m not a writer, nor am I a runner (well not a brilliant one!). My writing expertise are mainly from my uni assignments and I have dragged my lazy bum round 5ks, 10ks, a half marathon and a 10 mile run.
10 years ago, my two older brothers ran the Great North Run. I’ve never told them this, but my pride for them that day was immense; something that led me to aspire to run something similar one day. Not only did they run their first half marathon together but they fundraised for a charity very close to my family’s heart; the British Liver Trust.
When I was 3 years old, our cousin Joseph was diagnosed with Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis (PSC) at the age of 17- just as life was about to get exciting. PSC is an unpreventable liver disease that causes bile to accumulate in the liver which causes scarring and inflammation and the liver is unable to repair properly. This is something I am learning just this minute; I was always too young to fully understand Joseph’s liver disease. I knew he was a very poorly man but that was the extent of my knowledge as a child. However I do know that Joseph’s liver disease WAS NOT caused by his lifestyle choices, such as drug and alcohol abuse, eating fatty foods or not exercising enough. Yes this is a cause of liver disease but please understand that this is not the sole cause, many are unpreventable and are often diagnosed at birth.
Unfortunately Joseph passed away 23/12/2003 at age 24- the age I am now which has led me to think a lot more about him recently, although he is never far from my thoughts. I think about the challenges I face now and how he faced them too AS WELL as the challenges presented to him by his liver disease. I also think about the exciting things I have to look forward to and I know Joseph made the most of every minute he had! He was the most incredible (and intelligent) person I have ever had the pleasure to come across and losing him was a huge blow to our family, it’s something that still chokes me up now.
With that in mind, this year I will run the Great North Run with my oldest brother Liam in memory of Joseph and once again we will fundraise for the British Liver Trust in Joseph’s name; a charity who provides support and guidance for all those diagnosed with a liver disease and/or who have received a transplant. The purpose of this blog is to share with you my thoughts whilst running, my memories of Joseph and what I’m learning about liver disease (who knows, there might be a funny story from time to time!). It won’t be a regular blog, I’ll just pop up when I think I have something worth writing about!
if any of my blog posts impact you in any way, please share them! You never know who it could help.
Until next time, keep loving your liver!