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We’re so grateful to all the people who support Findacure through their fundraising, and we love being able to meet them and to introduce them to you. Today we’re talking to Natalie Hughes. Natalie will be running the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon for Findacure in October, alongside her mum, Jo. They’re supporting us because we work with genetic, rare conditions like Neutropenia, which Natalie’s daughter Isla lives with. 

Hi Natalie! Thank you so much for choosing to fundraise for Findacure in the Royal Parks Half – what made you choose us?
After my daughter was diagnosed with Autoimmune Neutropenia i was devastated watching her go through so much. Whilst looking for support online it dawned on me how little rare diseases where represented compared to the more well known illnesses. I wanted to do something, anything to help the smaller charities build recognition for the very important work they do. I found Findacure while doing a search of rare disease charities and as it specifically mentions Neutropenia it just seemed right. I have always wanted to run a marathon but knew having never ran before i needed to be realistic. The Royal Parks Half Marathon fitted perfectly with what i wanted to achieve.

Why did you and your mum decide to do the half marathon together?
My mum has always been hugely supportive so when i told her what i was doing she immediatly said she would do it with me! This is a massive ask for my mum as she is struggling with a knee injury but is still training hard and dragging my dad out as her running buddy! We agree that if Isla can go through all the prodding, poking and needles we could run a mile or 13.6…

Will this be your first half marathon? Are you a seasoned runner or will this be a big challenge?
This is both of our 1st half marathon, its a HUGE challenge! We have started taking training seriously and have been getting out to run atleast 3 times a week. We both started on the C25K plan which massively improved our fitness and confidence. We recently completed a 5k charity run and raised £530 between us and 2 other runners we ran with for Rare Disease UK. We are very proud of this and it has made us even more determined to raise a huge amount for Findacure and complete the half marathon in a good time.

Do you have a target finishing time you’re aiming for?
We are hoping to complete the half marathon in under 2.5 hours but im pretty sure we will be just as happy to just cross the finish line in one piece!

Thank you again to Natalie and Jo for taking on such an a massive challenge for Findacure – we’re sure you’ll do Isla proud! You can donate to their amazing efforts via their Justgiving page, or if you would like to take part in a fundraising event for Findacure, please contact louisa@findacure.org.uk. 

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