I’m Joe and I’m running the London Marathon on 23rd April this year and raising money for Long Covid SOS. I’m 30 years old and live in Manchester with my girlfriend.
Around 15 months ago we both contracted COVID 19. I was fortunate to make a full recovery in a couple of weeks but unfortunately she has suffered from Long Covid since then. She’s a very active person who enjoys cycling, swimming and doing yoga regularly but hasn’t been able to do any of these since becoming unwell. She also previously worked full time as a clinical psychologist for the NHS but hasn’t been able to work since contracting COVID.
It’s been a very tough 15 months for her. Her main symptoms are fatigue and post-exertional malaise. This means she can only manage around 2500 steps per day, so spends most days in our flat and she still has to rest for at least 5 or 6 hours during the day. However, she still manages to do short stints of painting to give her a sense of purpose and is able to do light Pilates to maintain some of her strength. With careful pacing we are also able to occasionally go out to live comedy, theatre or seated gigs which gives her something to look forward to.
The year anniversary was especially challenging for her mentally, experiencing a sense of loss and uncertainty about what her future health will look like. Both of our friends and family have been incredibly supportive and accommodating throughout this time but it can be challenging for people to fully understand the impact it has on her day to day life and how uncertain the trajectory of her recovery is.
Long Covid SOS has really helped her to stay up to date with the latest news and research via Instagram and provided a sense of community so that she doesn’t feel alone. Their tireless work to raise awareness and promote research into Long Covid treatments has made her feel like someone is fighting her corner. I hope that raising money for Long Covid SOS will enable them to support the discovery of effective treatments as soon as possible. 2m people in the UK and an estimated 65m people worldwide are currently living with Long Covid .
I’ve always been fairly sporty but have never ran more than 10k before starting my marathon training. It’s been hard work with a lot of early mornings but I’ve enjoyed the challenge and I’m glad that it’s helping a really worthwhile cause. Unfortunately my girlfriend won’t be able to watch me from the roadside on the big day but she’ll be trying to spot me on TV from home and I’m sure I’ll give her a call after I cross the finish line.
Thank you so much Joe for choosing to fundraise for Long Covid SOS. Having run numerous marathons myself , please run in the knowledge that for every penny or pound you raise, you help keep a lifeline available for all those in need. On behalf of all of us here at Long Covid SOS, good luck. Garry Loftus, Long Covid SOS team member
To support Joe in his challenge, please click here - every donation will help us continue our work to provide a lifeline to people with Long Covid