My son’s outlook on life changed in October 2018 when the exciting message came through from Epilepsy Research UK: he had been offered a place in the London Marathon. Recently graduated and now working for a pharmaceutical company in Hertfordshire, the focus on the charity and his fitness gave Marcus a new approach to life.

For us, his family, life changed too. We learned about fitness programmes. The benefit of a guided bus route which enables Marcus to run for miles from the house without changing course. The drive out of our hometown of Cambridge towards London became the training track as Marcus increased his running distances, completing the final 20 mile runs in March and April.

That was the stamina bit. The strength has been gained through training at the gym. The treatment has been in the form of cold baths, hot baths and muscle rubs (the whole house now full of the scent of muscle rubs).

To achieve his fundraising target we identified as many people as possible who we thought would be willing to donate £10. This was the initial request but so many people gave more, inspired by Marcus’ effort, enthused by the work of the charity and raising the profile of epilepsy that affects so many families. It has been thrilling to see his fundraising amount increase each week.

Marcus is running for the Rachel Wardleworth memorial fund. We never met Rachel, but since her death we have gotten to know Joe, her eldest son. I walked with Rachel’s Mum, Dawn Rahman, in 2016 to raise funds for ERUK and we joined Dawn and David at a fundraising event in London when we fully appreciated the special team who work for the organisation and the fantastic work they are doing.

So, in this our final week, we continue to seek sponsors. Marcus is managing his exercise and diet to ensure that he is ready, and we will be travelling to London with Rachel’s parents and Joe to support him through the route.

We will never forget 2019 because of Marcus’ effort and the fund has helped keep Rachel’s memory alive in this her 40th year. All we ask is that he can complete the run. Marcus is now is aiming for a great time.

– Beverly Jones, April 2019