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MSer Jan Clarke-Taplin gears up for this year’s Great North Run

DSC_0128.jpgHaving been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in April 2018 I was scared and uncertain of my future. Faced with having to take daily meds and wondering if I was going to be able to walk soon let alone run, I decided to explore treatment options for MS.

With the support of my medical team, I embarked on the Best Bet diet, increased my exercise and started on several supplements. This routine has not only kept me in remission and healthy but I feel it has made me stronger. Post diagnosis I ran two half marathons in 2018 and then was lucky enough to join #TeamPurple in London and completed the London Marathon in April 2019 just one year after diagnosis. I ran for MS-UK because they have helped me with counselling and coming to terms with my MS diagnosis. Running for #TeamPurple also kept inspiring me, as I met so many runners who also have MS and keep going!

Running has become my medicine, I have learned when to push, when to rest and how to fuel my body and I am incredibly grateful to be able to remain mobile and strong. I don’t know if I will always stay like this and I would say I battle with my mental health too to stay positive and focussed. Being a part of #TeamPurple for MS-UK gives me focus and I am so proud to wear my purple running t-shirt with the MS-UK logo on. I feel I am giving back to a charity that has supported me through some tough times.

I was delighted and so excited to be offered a place on this year’s Great North Run team, the first time MS-UK has had a presence at the event. I also managed to recruit two friends Mollie and Beki, Beki who is running her first half marathon too! We are all super excited, our team of eight will meet up for the first time at the event (hopefully) and get a team photo. It is a first for all of us, so watch this space and see our post-race photo. Of course, raising funds for MS-UK is what it’s all about and on the eve of the race we have smashed our team target and we could not be happier! If you would like to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Janet-Taplin2.