A young mother who has a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disorder is preparing to run in this year’s London Marathon.
In 2005, Hayley Woods was diagnosed with Cyclical Neutropenia, a rare blood disorder that causes frequent illness and infections.
The 33-year-old, who plans to complete the marathon in April in aid of charity Genetic Disorders UK, said she often feels ‘tried, run down and fatigued’ and, when she becomes unwell, requires intravenous antibiotics.
Despite the unusual challenges her condition places on her life, Hayley - a Bury St Edmunds trade union officer, wife and mother to three-year-old Freya - is determined not to live her life ‘in a bubble’.
She said: “It’s a challenge because it can be quite draining training for something like this so I have to make sure I’m getting enough rest, and my medication can make me quite unwell so I haven’t done as much training as I would have liked.
“I also have problems with my joints because of my condition so I’ve decided to do more of a walk and run training plan leading up to the marathon instead of running the whole thing but, even if I have to walk or crawl it, I will get round some how.”
“I’m quite nervous about the scale of it but mostly excited,” she added.
Hayley has already raised around £300 but needs to raise a minimum £2,000. To donate, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HayleyWoodsGeneTeam