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Alicia's story

Alicia supports Brain Research UK in memory of her mum. Alicia's mum died aged 64 of Multiple System Atrophy ("MSA"). MSA is a really rare condition and as such, like many neurological conditions, is extremely difficult to diagnose. Sadly Alicia's mum never knew she had it and they only found out after an autopsy.

Several years earlier, in 2018, Alicia's mum had been diagnosed with ataxia, and she struggled in her last few years to come to terms with how difficult life was.

A lot of it was put down to grief after Dad died of cancer in 2019. Mum was always very social and active and she didn’t feel comfortable when her body couldn’t do what it used to! Despite the every day challenges of getting dressed, walking, writing, talking etc. mum was extremely determined and was still going to the gym literally two weeks before she died!
MSA is known to have a shorter prognosis but Ataxia is something many people can live with for years and years. I do think if mum knew her condition was MSA, this may have helped her cope mentally - knowing that her life would be cut short and the struggles would not last for years! Although I don’t necessarily think she would have done anything differently! But that’s why I support Brain Research UK - to help fund more research and science to enable doctors to identify and diagnose these rare neurological conditions earlier.

Alicia ran London Marathon in October 2022 for us. She started running at school when she was part of the cross country team and it’s become a hobby of hers for fitness/ enjoyment over the years. However since losing her mum and dad combined with having two children (now 3 and 1) running for her has definitely become more than just fitness - it’s almost a type of therapy.

Training for the London Marathon was pretty ambitious at the time with a young baby, returning back to work and some of my own health issues – however it was also an ideal time as it provided me with an excuse to get some headspace and digest all the emotions / ups and downs life throws at us! In the past I have done a few half marathons but that’s all. Running the London Marathon has been on my bucket list for a while and running this year gave me the opportunity to raise money for a great charity. The atmosphere on race day was amazing and I would do it all over again (just perhaps when the children are a little older and my husband will let me)!

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