Woman’s race will be a tribute to her ‘extremely fit’ father
A woman who lost her father to a rare disease is getting ready, set and go to tackle a 10km race in his memory.
Karen Davies' father Richard died in July after he was diagnosed with a very rare condition called amyloidosis, caused by deposits of abnormal protein.
Ms Davies, 51, a stage manager at Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre, said: 'My dad was an extremely fit 73-year-old. He ran the London Marathon, he went to the gym three times a week, he threw 20kg dumbbells with ease.
'But within three weeks of him being diagnosed, he went from being super fit and healthy to being unable to walk 400m down the road.'
Mrs Davies said only around
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600 cases of amyloidosis are diagnosed in the UK every year, but there is no cure.
'Very little is known about why it happens,' she added. 'Simply put, the body produces rogue proteins which can attack any organ in the body. In dad's case, it was his heart.
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'The only certainty is that if you have it, you will die.'
Mr Davies was treated at the National Amyloid Centre at The Royal Free Hospital, in London, with aggressive chemotherapy. Although the treatment went well, he then contracted a chest infection and died.
Mrs Davies said: 'The care he got at the Royal Free was wonderful. And the Amyloidosis Centre desperately needs funds to help research a cure and to develop an understanding of the disease.'
So, inspired by her father's fitness, Mrs Davies decided to enter the Marriott's Way 10km, a mainly off-road race between Aylsham and Reepham, on Sunday. She said: 'I told Dad I wanted him to be at the finish line to cheer me on. Sadly, this will never happen now. I'm not a natural distance runner, I've found the going very tough. But I'm determined to do it and do it well.'
• To follow Karen's progress, or to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Karen-Davies53