This week’s blog continues our “Meet the team” series, introducing our brilliant fundraisers to the Findacure community.

On 28th April, Alan Blackham will be taking on a huge challenge to raise money for Findacure – running the 2019 London Marathon! Please read his inspiring story and show your support by donating to his fundraising page.

Alan’s Story

For many years I have been battling a rare condition called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which in its more severe stages causes a lack of blood flow to the arms. I can personally attest that this is severely painful and that these bouts make the sufferer’s arms so weak that they cannot be used.

I battled with these symptoms for years not knowing what was wrong seeing countless doctors and specialists who also didn’t know. They could only offer me reprieve from the pain with very strong pain killers, but these pain killers and muscle relaxants brought with them a new set of problems, which I later would have to battle with as well. Eventually my condition was formally diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome which at least enabled me to understand it better. This presented me with options – to either continue to manage my symptoms with strong pain killers or go down the route of having very risky operations with no guarantee of success.

Not being one to shy away from a fight I chose the latter. Now three surgeries, endless hours of therapy, tears and years later I’m close to where I want to be and relatively pain free. It’s meant completely changing my whole lifestyle and thought process to be able to live the life I want to live.

At my lowest point I decided to challenge and motivate myself with an alternative goal – to step outside of my comfort zone and do something that would take my mind off the surgery and therapy I had undergone. And what better way to do this than to aim to complete one of the world’s most famous marathons – the London Marathon – whilst at the same time raising money for Findacure, a great cause that really makes differences to people’s lives.

I hope you can support me with fundraising for this challenge!

You can read more information about Alan’s rare condition here: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/7759/thoracic-outlet-syndromes

And you can donate to his Findacure fundraising page here.