For our 40th anniversary this year, we have decided to have a 'Fundraiser of the Month' throughout the year. This month, we have Duncan Clarke, whose niece Lilia has MPS. He shares his story below.
When Duncan's, niece, Lilia, was diagnosed with MPS III Sanfilippo last June, it took her friends and family a long time to come to terms with her newly diagnosed disease.
Not one for sitting around, he set himself a “crazy challenge” of completing 12 marathons in 12 months to raise funds for the MPS Society.
Duncan says of Lilia’s diagnosis: “It was a shock. We knew there was something there slowly developing, but we weren’t sure what.”
Soon after Lilia’s diagnosis, Duncan’s sister-in-law, Natasha, contacted the MPS Society and passed their information on to the rest of the family. They called up the charity’s Support and Advocacy team for guidance and support, so they didn’t feel as alone.
Duncan says: “The MPS Society has provided a massive amount of support to my brother, Jonathan’s family, providing workshops, counselling, and sibling support. They have even given presentations at Lilia’s school to raise awareness.”
Duncan is a keen runner and has run an impressive 12 marathons over the space of 15 years. He first took up running in 2004 when some of his colleagues entered the Great North Run. He felt that if his colleagues could do it, then he could do it. The same year, he completed the New York Marathon and hasn’t looked back.
Charity fundraising comes easily to Duncan as from 2012 to 2014, he ran down every street in Leicester, a total of 735 miles to raise money for Leicestershire Cares, a charity associated with his employer, CS Ellis. The running has also helped him train for marathons and from 2010 to 2019, he ran a marathon a year.
So far, Duncan has raised £791 but would like to hit his target of £1,000. This month, he is taking on the London Marathon and still has two marathons left before the end of the year.
The pictures include Duncan dressed up as a Roman soldier running his marathon in May and Duncan’s nieces Lilia and Izzy.
At the MPS Society, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Duncan for his ongoing support!
Written by Rhia Arden
If you would like to donate to Duncan’s marathon a month, please click here.
If you are interested in donating to the MPS Society, please click here.