Running to beat leprosy This year we have 11 incredible runners taking on the London Marathon to help beat leprosy. They have all been training for months and have done some amazing fundraising, from holding quizzes to casino nights and getting their own running groups involved. Our 11 runners this year are from across the UK and around the world, travelling over from Columbia and Miami. We want to say a big Thank you and Good Luck to Team Lepra ahead of the marathon next Sunday. Tim Corfield, Monir Ahmad, Soph Bailey-Smith, Paul Jordan, Nick Ray, Anna Burnley, Michael Meister, Paul Rinder, Carlos Echeverry, Monica Samaca and Jo Brown. Meet some of Team Lepra Paul Rinder Age 38, Paul has been applying for the marathon unsuccessfully ever since he was 33, it’s been on his list of things to do before he turns 40 and this year he joins Team Lepra. ‘I’d class myself as a reluctant runner and can always find an excuse not to train or eat the wrong thing etc. The charity itself is one that I must admit I knew little about previously and thought leprosy was a thing of the past so I was stunned and saddened that it’s still around....especially as it’s treatable in most cases! Fundraising was largely all met by one event - Casino Night. Making it black tie was a bit of a master stroke as it gave people an excuse to get out and dress up, and I genuinely believe it got more people interested then a regular event and something I’d definitely do again! I’m not aiming for a specific time, all I want to do is cross the finish line and know that I did my best...be it 5 hours or 5 days! I have a hugely supportive family who have helped in charitable donations or just kicking me out on a cold Sunday morning to train so that's really helped’. Anna Burnley Anna works at the hospital of tropical diseases, which also has a leprosy clinic – so she was quite familiar with the challenges faced by people affected by leprosy and wants to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported her so far. ‘I have always had an interest in neglected tropical diseases, and I know they tend not to receive as much funding as some other conditions... Thank you so much to all of my friends, family, colleagues and patients who have donated so far’. Soph Bailey-Smith Soph was an intern with us last year which gave her the motivation to take on this challenge to help change the lives of people affected by leprosy. ‘I learned more about leprosy and lymphatic filariasis during my time as an intern at Lepra, gaining in-depth knowledge about what they do to help those affected. What shocked me most was learning that leprosy is a curable disease. However, due to a lack of education and awareness there is frequently prejudice attached to the disease - over 3 million people are still living with undiagnosed leprosy globally. Consequently, they do not receive the treatment and care they need. After securing a place to run the London Marathon to support Lepra, to say I felt a sense of thrill and gratitude, would be an understatement. I felt ecstatic!’ Monica Sarmiento ‘In a few days I will cross the finish line of my marathon number 8. The London marathon. I will run on behalf of those who suffer from leprosy, this forgotten disease that affects many people in the world. It will be gratifying that through my sport I can help people who do not know me but who will surely value this effort.’ Inspired to take on the challenge? Do you have what it takes to run the London Marathon 2020? Register your interest today to join Team Lepra next year. Sign up Or email [email protected] to find out more.