3rd Dec, 2016

Inspirational borough woman defies doctors to run London Marathon

Shaun Reynolds 24th Apr, 2016 Updated: 21st Oct, 2016

AN INSPIRATIONAL borough runner who defied predictions from doctors that she’d never be able to walk admitted she will crawl across the line if she has to when lining up at this weekend’s London Marathon.

Emma Cartland has suffered from cerebral palsy since she was born and was told at the age of one that she’d never be able to walk.

Though she still suffers from the condition and often struggles with functioning her right hand, Emma is determined to defy the odds and cross the finish line.

The 31-year-old has already raised £2,500 for Solihull Round Table charity Children’s Wish.

Dedicated to granting granting ‘handcrafted’ wishes to children and young people with life threatening illnesses, Children’s Wish has provided dozens of children with personalised wishes ranging from sporting days out to donations.

Despite her condition, Emma will join 38,000 other runners at the start line in Greenwich Park.

Talking about how cerebral palsy affected her as a child, Emma said: “I had physio once a week whilst I was growing up and had a splint in my right foot with specialist shoes.

“I struggled with cerebral palsy from a young age but my mum and dad have been incredibly supportive, as have my two sisters.

“I’ve reversed what the doctors said 30 years ago and I genuinely think a few tears will roll when I cross the finish line on Sunday, it’s going to be emotional I’m sure.”

The Shirley resident has quickly turned her fortune though and is in the last few days of training ahead of this weekend’s final push.

She added: “Training has been intense and I managed to reach 20 miles last week.

“I’ve had to get a gym membership as I’ve been working from 9am until 6pm and by time I get home it’s too dark to go running around Solihull so training has been difficult in that aspect.

“I’ve had to pick myself up and carry on at times but I’m determined to cross that finish line.

“I’ve always watched the London Marathon and knew that one year I would have to do it, I’ve been training hard since October and I’m sure that all my hard work will be rewarded this weekend.”

Currently a receptionist at John Lewis, Emma said that running never was a passion of hers – it was only the Birmingham half marathon that inspired her to start putting one foot in front of the other.

She added: “I absolutely hated running two years ago.

“However I completed the Birmingham half marathon two years ago and I was amazed by the atmosphere that the crowd generated.

“I’ll be joining 44 runners across the Round Table Children’s Wish charity and set a target of £1,650.

“I’ve gone well past that target and have so far raised £2,500 which is an unbelievable sum of money, I can’t thank the people that have donated to the cause enough.”

To support Emma’s run, visit Virgin Money Giving and search for Emma Cartland.