Mum Jessica Heslop from Chatteris is tackling London Marathon despite having chronic asthma
A mum of two will hit the ground running on Sunday, April 22, when she tackles the London Marathon.
Jessica Heslop, 31, will be running the 26.2 miles in aid of Asthma UK, a cause close to her heart as she has had the illness since she was a young child.
Jessica, from Chatteris, has taken on the challenge despite being seriously ill with a chest infection only last month.
She has suffered from chronic asthma since she was a child and has endured many admissions to Hinchingbrooke hospital as a result.
Jessica was only able to go travelling before starting university if she carried a nebuliser in her backpack and she has relied on steroids, inhalers and nebulisers just to get through the day being able to breathe.
This limited the sport she took part in throughout her school days and her early 20s because exercise could trigger an attack.
Over the last few years her asthma has become much more under control and she was able to take up running.
She said: “When I started running it was a very emotional journey for me as I was always told at school not to do exercise, which triggers my asthma as I go downhill so quick.
“I joined my local Bodymode Running Club and received so much support and friendly advice from many runners.
“Their encouragement made me even more determined to be able to run and not to allow my asthma to rule my life, after it had taken so much of my teenage years.
“Last year I decided to register for the ultimate challenge of running the London Marathon. The last nine months haven’t been easy, I’ve found it incredibly hard to fit training runs in – having a four and a five-year-old and working at a special needs school doesn’t leave me much spare time.
“After completing the Cambridge Half-Marathon last month for Asthma UK I unfortunately became ill with a chest infection which landed me back on steroids and inhaler machines.
“This has meant that I have now had to accept I will be walking parts of the marathon and my goal is just to finish it – with no time in mind, just to get to the end.”
She added: “As I gained a charity place I need to raise a minimum amount of money. I am still £900 off of this.”
Asthma UK is the leading asthma charity which offers health advice and support through its telephone helpline for the 5.4million people living with asthma in the UK.
Jessica said: “Having an asthma attack is incredibly frightening and one occurs every 10 seconds in the UK.
“Some people describe having an asthma attack as feeling like a pillow is being held over their face.
“I would really appreciate any donations to my Virgin Just giving page, no matter how small, it will all help me reach my total.”
To donate go to :virginmoneygiving.com/JessicaHeslop