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Supermum to run marathon to help disabled children

PUBLISHED: 11:51 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:14 25 August 2010

A MOTHER who says she has avoided exercise at all costs is taking on the gruelling training needed to tackle a marathon to address the plight of disabled children.

A MOTHER who says she has avoided exercise at all costs is taking on the gruelling training needed to tackle a marathon to address the plight of disabled children.

Tracey Ayling, of Selborne Avenue, Sidcup, believes the UK has a long way to go to catch up to the United States in opportunities given to disabled children and so decided to dust off her trainers and run the 26-mile London Marathon for disability charity Whizz Kidz.

The 41-year-old has a younger half-sister Holly, 17, who lives in the States and suffers from Rett Syndrome, Microcephaly and a seizure disorder.

She cannot talk, walk, or feed herself but leads a full life despite her condition.

Mrs Ayling said: "In America the treatment of people who are disabled is much different. Holly is able to go horse riding, skiing and enjoy a full life despite her condition.

"Parents in the UK looking after disabled children often feel left to care and raise funds for themselves, when they don't have the energy. There is very little support.

"That is why the charities that are out there like Whizz Kidz are so important."

The mother of two admitted that running for just three minutes used to leave her short of puff and has changed her lifestyle to start the training needed to complete 26 gruelling miles next April.

She has joined a gym, runs three miles daily and will stick to a programme that increases mileage over the months leading up to race day.

She said: "My husband has got to be at home in time for the kids, we have all had to make a lifestyle change, but it will be worth it, if only to change the life of one child."

Whizz Kidz provides children with customised mobility equipment, training and advice to give disabled young people greater independence to live full and active lives at home and at school.

n To sponsor Tracey Ayling, go to: www.justgiving.com/tracey-ayling/.


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