Donna Blackman, from Epple Bay, has been taking part in the Kent MS Therapy Centre’s…
Rich Smith has decided to take on the challenge of running the London Landmarks Half Marathon on 23 May this year. He is joining #TeamKMSTC to show his appreciation to the centre as his mother, who suffers with MS, has used the centre’s services for many years.
We had the chance to ask Rich a few questions about his upcoming fundraising challenge:
Why have you decided to take on this challenge for KMSTC?
MS affects faculties that I had no idea that your brain had any control over. Movement, speech, cognition, you name it MS can effect it. Everyone experiences MS differently and no two people’s symptoms are the same. That’s why the wide range of treatments that KMSTC offers through oxygen, reflexology and acupuncture is so important. Not every treatment will be effective for everyone, but having such a wide range of support available in one place as well as having a safe place to share common experiences is a vital support mechanism for the MS community
What does KMSTC mean to you and your mum?
My mum has had MS for four decades, and in the last fifteen years she has had secondary progressive MS. My mum and my Dad as her main carer have shown incredible courage, strength and endurance through this time, but there is no escaping the fact that MS is an awful disease. KMSTC has been a great lifeline of support over the years and we recognise KMSTC’s place at the heart of the MS community in Kent. It has been great to watch the centre being built and we want to see more people being supported by its therapies. In the light of COVID-19 and the recession, this feels like an important time to provide as much support as possible to places like KMSTC.
You’re a keen runner – what appealed to you about taking on the London Landmarks Half?
I know that running a half marathon isn’t an option available or appealing to everyone, but I really love it. Particularly in a time where our mental health has been more challenged than ever, there is something reassuring about the tapping of your feet on the pavement as the world slowly passes by. The London Landmarks Half was on a shortlist of races that I was thinking about completing this year, and when I saw that the KMSTC was doing a fundraising event for it that made up my mind. The date happens to fall ten days after Mum’s 65th birthday, which is also her and my Dad’s 30th wedding anniversary so that seemed like perfect timing!
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Rich for taking on this amazing challenge in aid of KMSTC!
If you would like to support Rich in his fundraising efforts, here is a link to his page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-smith208