“In February 2007, our long awaited son was born and on the 1st March 2007, Joshua was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis following a positive blood test. Testing for Cystic Fibrosis had only been added to newborn screening in January 2007 and Joshua was the first baby in our region to be positively diagnosed as a result of this. We are extremely thankful for this early diagnosis to enable Joshua to start the treatment he needed. At just under 3 weeks old, Joshua commenced a treatment regime consisting of twice daily physiotherapy, a plethora of medication including the necessary enzymes to help him break down his food to help him grow big and strong and he then started to gain weight going from a very fragile little baby to a bouncing heavyweight.
We can’t deny how challenging this diagnosis has been for us and there have been some tough times, but Joshua continues to amaze and inspire us with his zest for life and we are absolutely determined that he will lead a full and active life and nothing will stop that.
Ever since Joshua was diagnosed, I wanted to do something big to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis trust. I turn 40 in January and to mark the year of this milestone birthday – and to hope that during this next decade of my life my fundraising efforts will go some way to support the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in their research and development which we hope Joshua and thousands of others can benefit from – I decided to run the Virgin Money London Marathon. When I told the children they were so excited, firstly to come to London and see the Queen closely followed by seeing me in the marathon and cheering me on. Joshua did ask whether I thought I might win – I’ve said I think it’s unlikely but you never know!!
Part of my fundraising efforts in the lead up to Christmas has involved making reindeer food; bags of snacks for children to leave for the reindeer on Christmas eve. To date I have used about 6o kg of porridge oats, 200 metres of ribbon and so much glitter that it has got everywhere – the total raised from the sales currently stands at £850 with more elves making and selling as we speak.
The hardest part of the training so far is fitting everything in. Both myself and my husband work so we have to work hard to juggle our shifts. We also have to fit in all Joshua’s treatments, keeping him active and healthy with lots of exercise and a good diet, as well as giving him and our daughter Olivia time to just be children. Despite this, I am absolutely determined to put in the time and effort needed to train and am massively motivated by my amazing son – what’s 6 months of hard work training when the money I raise will go towards supporting a fantastic charity in offering my son a lifetime of hope and opportunities.“
You can support Emma’s fundraising via her Virgin Money Giving page.