FITNESS fanatic Charlotte Howard will be lining up alongside thousands of others at this weekend’s London Marathon.
The 28-year-old from Solihull will be taking to the capital’s streets on Sunday (April 22) in honour of her mum Cherokee, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis more than 15 years ago.
She will be running the 26.2 mile course in aid of Arthritis Research UK.
Charlotte said: “For as long as I can remember, my mum has always struggled with the pain of her arthritis.
“Despite taking multiple painkillers each day, which has caused other health issues, the pain hasn’t gone away.
“It’s been incredibly difficult to watch her live in pain.
“Growing up, I used to hear her crying out in pain whilst doing household chores, like washing the dishes and vacuuming the living room.
“As she was a single mum to four children, she couldn’t lean on a partner for support. Therefore, working was essential, and she couldn’t afford not to work.”
Charlotte’s mother, 57, now runs a guest house, which involves a lot of bending, moving and walking up and down stairs. Charlotte describes her mother as her biggest hero and role model and said: “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.
“My mum has inspired me to have this get up and go attitude. All I have ever wanted to do is make her proud and I hope that by running the London Marathon, I will do just that.
“My mother was touched when she found out my reason for taking part, but for her it is unimaginable feat. I am physically able to take part in the race, but my mum can’t.”
In terms of training, Charlotte has running four times a week, as per a rigorous training plan.
She started training in December and despite breaking her toe in mid-January she hasn’t been deterred in her efforts to make it to the start line.
Louise Skinner, head of mass market fundraising at Arthritis Research UK, said: “We are delighted that Charlotte has chosen to support us at this year’s London Marathon. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of arthritis and the impact it has on everyday life, from getting out of bed every morning, to making a cup of tea or driving to work.
“On behalf of all the staff at Arthritis Research UK, I would like to wish Charlotte the very best of luck and I look forward to congratulating her at the finish line.”
Charlotte’ efforts have already raised more than £2,000.
To donate to Charlotte’s cause visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Charlotte-Howard6
For more on Arthritis Research UK visit www.arthritisresearchuk.org