“Well, I’ve gone and done it – yes, I’ve signed up for the London Marathon! A little crazy I know, given my already hectic lifestyle, as a working mum-of-three. But it’ll be worth it, right?
So, why now? What’s prompted me to take on this arduous challenge?
My mum, Angela – my biggest supporter and 100% my sole motivation – is one of the bravest, most humble and kindest people I know. Despite all of her own illnesses she is the first to drop everything and help her friends and family, even when at times she doesn’t feel wonderful. But as her disability is not visible people often forget.
16 years ago she was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, or in simple terms a brain tumour. The hideous time and heart stopping moment when we were told will be etched on my mind forever and now her life has completely changed. Despite MRI scans and consultant appointments, she came through fighting. Six hours of major brain surgery and the loss of her hearing, but she was still fighting.
The operation was just the start. Mum lost her hearing in her left ear and therefore had to rebuild her life with this life changing disability. She doesn’t like thinking of herself as having a disability – but it is and it has taken its toll on her everyday life, in more ways than people can imagine. Commuting and her work was near on impossible, social situations became a tiring task. And, of course, the horrendous headaches she’s been left with can leave her drained. She initially lost confidence – the hearing loss affected her more than we thought. She has to think carefully about where she sits when out and about and has to concentrate on everyday tasks we take for granted. She can no longer work.
The hardest thing by far is that it is an invisible disability and quite often people forget. She looks normal, she carries on as though everything is fine. But underneath it all she struggles. It’s difficult in new situations or if she is meeting somebody for the first time. It’s hard to have to keep explaining it. It’s exhausting.
Mum tried a transmitter hearing aid, but unfortunately it really didn't work for her. She found it uncomfortable and a constant reminder that she was no longer the same person. It left her frustrated and disillusioned. However, not one to give up, she went on a lip reading course which boosted her confidence as she met others in similar situations.
Action on Hearing Loss has been an incredible source of valuable information and help. This charity does some amazing work and as a family we are incredibly proud to support it. I am running to raise money for all those people who are trying to overcome the sudden loss of their hearing.
The plethora of advice on the website and Facebook page has been such a welcome to both myself and my mum. It’s reassuring to read lots of articles offering advice and support.
Every single contribution I have raised will spur me on for the big day and all the donations will help change lives.”
To donate and help raise vital funds for Action on Hearing Loss, click here: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/actiononhearingloss/londonmarathon2018