This time next week I will be getting my gear ready to run my second Dublin marathon in 2 years.  I only decided to run a few weeks ago but I think tonight its the first time i've started to really look forward to the challenge.  Its going to be an even greater day for me as I am going to be running in support of MS Ireland, with the aim being to raise as much awareness as possible of this very serious neurological condition that effects over 2.5milllion people across the world with Ireland being one of the worst areas affected per head. There are some 20,000 people living with the condition here, and over 100,000 people in the UK.  My own view is the numbers are much greater as many people are yet to be diagnosed.

MS Ireland are a tremendous organisation who get through an enormous amount of work, year on year to help MS patients across the country live that little bit better.  I have had the pleasure to meet some of the staff in the past two years and their energy levels and the passion they have about their work is quite incredible.  I am thrilled to be able to help the team in a very small way, so that makes this years marathon a little bit more special for me.

Last night I got a lovely email from a fellow MS Champion who is getting it fairly tight at the minute as her MS is causing all sorts of damage in her body.  Even though this lady is really struggling at the minute, like a lot of us have done through this illness, her determination and downright persistence to never give up shone through in her mail.  I think that's really where it all is for me.  I have come to find that life appears to be one tragedy after the next, one challenge after the next, but the key appears to be that after a period of time, get your head together, get a plan in place and start climbing those stairs again.  It really is not the falling down that matters, its the staying down.

So when I am running through Dublin, a City very close to my heart next Monday, I will be thinking about the MS Community and I just hope as many people as possible get to read my journey through this awful condition.  In 2006 I struggled to get around Tescos, never mind complete a marathon.  I am not saying this experience can happen to everyone, clearly it cannot.  However I do know that my recovery and healing has been able to give some MSers  a little bit of hope.  Isn't that what life is all about really - HOPE..!!!!

Have a great week



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