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Why I’m running the London Marathon for Deafblind UK – Annabelle’s Story


Annabelle or Anni as she’s known by friends, a keen runner from Weybridge, described how her grandfather, Norman, lived a large part of his life with no sight and no hearing. “He was locked in his own world, where his thoughts rattled around his head with very little way of voicing them. Certainly when he got older and it became too much of an effort to speak, it must have been like solitary confinement, day after day.” Norman suffered from degenerative hearing and sight loss, starting in his early 40s, and underwent several operations to remove cataracts to redeem even partial sight.

Having seen how cruel this condition was for Norman, Anni decided to do something to help make a difference to other people with sight and hearing loss – so she set herself the ultimate challenge and entered the London Marathon to raise money for the national sight and hearing loss charity, Deafblind UK. “When I told Grandad I’d been lucky enough to land a place running for Deafblind UK, he was so thrilled for me! He was very honoured to have been the motivation and inspiration to raise money for people with his condition – especially those who are less fortunate than him, and weren’t as lucky to have a supportive family unit or caring nurses at Sunrise Senior Living in Weybridge around them. This run is dedicated not only to him but also to everyone who has helped us along the way. The Deafblind UK team work incredibly hard to make living life more comfortable for people with sensory impairments all over the UK.” She continued.

Sadly, Norman died at the end of last year. “Although he’s not here to see me finish, I’m a woman of my word and I’m determined to see it through. I know he’ll be there on the day and with me around the course.” Anni continued.

Despite Anni accomplishing a half marathon in the past, this will be the first time she has tackled a full marathon. “My biggest challenge will be keeping my mind off the mileage and aching legs.” She said. But her competitive streak may well help her around the 26.2 miles; “my own father has already laid down the gauntlet by running a half marathon, but never a full one. As a true Bould, I’m competitive as hell so I need to do better than him!”

The 27 year old Public Relations Manager at Edelman UK has already raised over £2,000 for Deafblind UK by a variety of generous donations from friends and family plus some exceptionally popular bake sales at her office in Victoria, London. “All the support I’ve received so far has been so overwhelming – it’s made me really put my mind to my training and I’m determined to stick to it. Thank you all.” Said Anni.

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