The London Marathon ranks high on the table of Britain’s great sporting events.
The 26+ mile course is run by elite athletes and dedicated amateurs alike, all with the same passion to not just compete in this great race, but to add to the record breaking fund raising it delivers year on year.
Haverhill family firm, Billson Opticians are immensely proud of Charlotte’s dedication and determination as she trains for the Event, although her training has not been without injury, as witnessed via Facebook and Instagram!
However, Charlotte will not be letting the minor inconvenience of an injury deter her from raising as much money as she can for a cause that has touched the Billson family personally, as Charlotte’s younger brother Stewart tragically died of Cystic Fibrosis aged just 19.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease caused by a faulty gene, and more than 1 in 25 of the UK population carries this gene. The disease affects the lungs and digestive system, and there is currently no cure.
But CF can be beaten, and donating to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust means that other families may not lose loved ones so prematurely. There are treatments available to help manage the symptoms and already, thanks to this improved care and ongoing research, babies born with the condition today (around five each week) can expect to survive into their 40’s.
There is a paradox involved though. With this number of adults in the UK with CF (an expected rise of around 80% over the next ten years) being positive news for sufferers it creates concern that there is increasing demand for adult CF services in the UK, and insufficient specialist centres to meet this demand.
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has been providing practical support and advice to CF patients and their families since 1964, and actively support clinical and laboratory research that helps to develop treatments to limit the impact of cystic fibrosis and ultimately find a treatment that beats it for good.
Charlotte herself says:
“The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is the only UK-wide charity making a daily difference in the lives both the people born with CF and to those who care for them. They have been and continue to be a beacon of hope and support to people with CF like my brother Stewart, to families like mine, to carers and to friends.”
Clearly personal experience is at the root of the Billson family’s support of this cause, but CF is a disease that can, and does, strike any family who unknowingly carry the faulty gene.
On Sunday 26th April 2015, Charlotte is taking positive steps, 26.2 miles of them to be precise, to contribute to the cause. Of course hopefully there will be an element of fun involved. As the largest charity event outside of America, the atmosphere is an unforgettable one which will hopefully carry the runners through the pain barrier. Whilst it’s unlikely Charlotte will be donning a chicken suit for the event, I would be so bold as to suggest a funky pair of spectacles at the least!
Hopefully these will not hinder her progress along the famous marathon route (not sure you want to read this Charlotte but I think potential observers might want to know!) which starts in Greenwich Park, next to the Greenwich Observatory.
From there runners make their way through Woolwich, past the Thames Barrier and then Cutty Sark, continuing towards Bermondsy. At the twelve-mile point they will see Tower Bridge, which they cross before turning right towards Canary Wharf. Next on towards Limehouse and the 20-mile stage (sources say this is where many runners ‘hit the wall’… keep going - apparently it passes).
On then past the Tower of London, along the Embankment, past the Houses of Parliament and Nelson's Column (shame there’s no time for sightseeing really!)
To the last leg, 500m along Birdcage Walk, past Buckingham Palace and over the finish line *insert deafening cheers here*.
It is a great day out, albeit a gruelling one for the 35,000 runners. You may plan to be one of the thousands of spectators lining the route, or one of the millions of TV viewers worldwide. Unlike Comic Relief, Children in Need etc, the Marathon footage is not interspersed with appeals for donations or stories of the causes desperately needing assistance which prompt you to put your hand in your pocket.
You can make a difference though. You can back Charlotte and her representation of Haverhill as a community and as a supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Make your donation via her Virgin Moneygiving page and know that whilst Charlotte is pounding the streets of London, you too have done your bit.
For further information about Billson Opticians, please click here.
And from all of us at thebestof Haverhill, good luck Charlotte!
Member since: 6th November 2012
I am a long-term resident of Haverhill and love sharing information and advice on the best places to visit, businesses to contact and people to speak to!