My sister and I are competing in the 10km race this year, and we thought you might like to hear our story.
After having an amazing experience at the 10k at Parallel London in 2016, Monique decided that she wanted to do it all over again. There’s no race quite like it. One where she can use her manual wheelchair to self-propel around the course rather than run. This year, she’s roped me, her sister Rhiannon, into participating too, and with our mum in tow as a buddy. It’s turned into a bit of a family affair! The charity we are raising money for is called Unique, which supports people with rare chromosome disorders and their families.
Unique came into our lives at a really pivotal moment. Following a fairly routine doctor’s appointment, Monique was diagnosed with a rare chromosome disorder in her teens, called 2q37 deletion. We didn’t know what that meant, or how it would affect her life, or even how she’d got it in the first place. Unique was there to support us through this bombshell, and after going to a conference hosted by the charity, we were able to meet other families going through the same thing as well as professionals who could guide and support us.
We are not the only ones who need the support. Each year many hundreds of babies are born with these disorders which are caused by having parts of one or more of their chromosomes missing, added on or rearranged. As many as one in 200 babies are affected. They are often severely disabled, unable to walk or talk and this can put lots of stress and strain on their families. Doctors often have very little knowledge about it, leaving parents feeling isolated and confused.
Unique listens to parents and carers by answering their questions and providing the help they need.
New technology is being rolled out across the NHS which means a lot more chromosome disorders are being discovered all the time. This in turn means more families are coming to Unique for support, putting pressure on their services. That’s why we have chosen to fundraise for Unique this year – we need to ensure that as many families as possible benefit from the support, comfort and guidance this fantastic small, but powerful charity is able to provide.
We can’t wait to finish our 10km in support of this wonderful charity!
Our fundraising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeamLock