Next Sunday 12 runners will be taking part in Milton Keynes’ first ever Marathon to raise funds for a national children’s charity that’s close to their hearts.
Katie Ridyard and Paul Reynolds, P. E. Teachers from Stantonbury school; Ryan Taylor and Richard Godber, IT-experts from Linford Wood-based Mirus IT Solutions; James Batchelor, local bouncy castle specialist, and Gary Nixon, Sally Fraser, Martin Ellis, Anne Compton, Nick Metcalf, Katie Brydges and Nick Blundell are all supporting the Association of Young People with ME (AYME), in the 26.2 mile-marathon which starts and finishes at stadium:mk, home of the MK Dons.
AYME is very close to the hearts of all 12 runners, but for Katie Brydges being a member of AYME was a lifeline when she was diagnosed with the debilitating condition, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) at the age of 11.
Since recovering from the illness, Katie has actively supported the charity, running the BUPA Great South Run in 2006, and again in 2008, and she has so far raised a fantastic £1,415.40 for the charity.
For Gary Nixon, of Fenny Stratford, it is his daughter, Rhia-Louise, who has inspired him to take on the challenge. Rhia-Louise was 11 when she began to suffer with ME. Her condition was so severe that she couldn’t participate in school or sports and it was difficult for friends to understand her debilitating condition.
“Although the NHS eventually diagnosed her condition, there was no treatment and very little advice,” says Gary. “Rhia-Louise is now 15 and back at school 40 per cent of the time. Through it all she hardly ever complained and I am so proud of her. I am running on behalf of AYME to raise funds and awareness of ME in young people.”
Mary-Jane Willows, CEO of AYME says: “The MK Marathon is a fantastic opportunity for our runners to raise money to enable us to continue to provide the much needed advice and services to support ME sufferers.
“Please come and cheer on our runners on the 29th April, or say hello to our volunteers on the water station at Great Linford Park.”
To make a donation to AYME visit wwww.justgiving.com/ayme. For further information visit www.ayme.org.uk or call 08451 232389.