Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Runner inspired by relative with disabling disease

A MAN from Sonning Common who suffers from a rare degenerative disease will be the inspiration for a relative running

A MAN from Sonning Common who suffers from a rare degenerative disease will be the inspiration for a relative running the London Marathon.

Peter Small, 74, of Wood Lane, suffers from multiple system atrophy, a progressive neurological disorder that affects his movement, balance and automatic functions and for which there is no cure.

The former runner is one of 3,000 people in the UK affected by the condition.

Mr Small’s wife’s cousin Anthony Haikney hopes to raise £2,000 for the MSA Trust by taking part in the marathon on April 21.

Mr Haikney, 49, from Southampton, said: “Peter was always fit, a keen tennis player and a runner. When he was 49 he ran the London Marathon.While I am fit, who is to say I could not get MSA too? We must increase research.”

Mr Haikney, a business development manager, ran last month’s Reading half marathon in a time of one hour and 42 minutes, equalling Mr Small’s own best time in the race.

He said it was a “special day” as he was greeted by Mr Small and his wife Barbara at the finish line.

Mr Small said the disease made it difficult for him to even hold his concentration long enough to string thoughts together.

“It is at the very least frustrating not being to do any of the activities that used to come so easily to me,” he said.

“Even walking is almost impossible and to shuffle along for more than a few steps exhausts me so I have no independence at all. As this disease is degenerative, it doesn’t bear thinking about what the future holds.”

The Smalls will also be on the finish line in London.

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/anthony-haikney

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