Going the extra mile for PH
With the London Marathon looming, runners up and down the country are pounding the pavements in preparation. Here, Michael Leafe, one of four supporters taking on the challenge for PHA UK this year, tells us what it means to him.
Michael, who is originally from Loughborough but now lives in Barcelona, is taking on the 26-mile course on 22 April to raise awareness of the disease. His sister Jenny, 32 was diagnosed with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and underwent surgery at Papworth Hospital in 2010 – allowing her to lead a normal and healthy life. He’s aiming to raise £1,000 for the PHA UK.
“Jenny is an inspiration to the whole family, and I know that she is a huge inspiration to others in similar positions, so I’m putting myself through all this gruelling training as a tribute to her,” Michael said.
“She was extremely fortunate to have this incredible, potentially life-saving operation at such a young age, but I know that this isn’t the case for everybody that suffers with PH. By running the marathon, I want to do my bit to ensure that the signs and symptoms of PH are better recognised and to make more people aware of the condition.
“Any donations, no matter how small or large, will mean an incredible amount not only to me, but to my family, PHA UK and to PH sufferers all over the UK and the world.”
Michael is no stranger to an endurance run, having completed two half-marathons in the past. He planned to run the London Marathon for the PHA UK last year, but was forced to defer his place due to injury.
“Last year a fractured toe derailed my training and I had to pull out. This time, I’m taking it easy and hoping not to aggravate any of those niggling problems,” he added.
To support Michael, visit his Just Giving page here