Letchworth runner set to tackle London Marathon for ‘amazing’ MS Trust

PUBLISHED: 07:02 26 February 2020

Helena achieved a personal best at the Brighton Half Marathon - which she took on as part of her training for the London Marathon. Picture: Helena Jidborg Alexander

Helena achieved a personal best at the Brighton Half Marathon - which she took on as part of her training for the London Marathon. Picture: Helena Jidborg Alexander

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A running-enthuasiast from Letchworth is set to take on the London Mararthon for the MS Trust, after being diagnosed with the condition herself.

Helena only took up running three and a half years ago, and has now completed a number of half marathons to raise money for the MS Trust. Picture: Courtesy of Helena Jidborg AlexanderHelena only took up running three and a half years ago, and has now completed a number of half marathons to raise money for the MS Trust. Picture: Courtesy of Helena Jidborg Alexander

Helena Jidborg Alexander was diagnosed with MS in 2007 - an event she says "changed her life".

Having found the MS Trust website, which helped her through the initial shock of her diagnosis, she decided to leave her job - which came with a demanding commute to London - and apply for a role at the MS Trust branch in Letchworth.

"This is where I found my calling," she said.

"I work with amazing people that make a real difference for people with MS and the MS health professionals every day.

Helena, pictured taking on her first 10k race in 2016, is now training to take on the London Marathon. Picture: Courtesy of Helena Jidborg AlexanderHelena, pictured taking on her first 10k race in 2016, is now training to take on the London Marathon. Picture: Courtesy of Helena Jidborg Alexander

"I work with the information and engagement team and I see everyday the support and help they provide to people who are a bit lost."

In 2016, Helena decided to take up running as a way of losing weight, and is now taking on the London Marathon despite the fatigue that comes with having the illness.

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She continued: "I only started running about three and a half years ago, before that I was very unfit.

"Since then, it's helped me with the fatigue I suffer with as a result of the MS.

"MS attacks the brain and it can cause different problems for people depending on which part of the brain.
"I had optic neuritis as a result of the MS - luckily I didn't go completely blind but I had black spots in my vision, some vertigo, and a bit of pain.

"I'm quite lucky compared to other people - you can be bed bound by it."

The 42-year-old has already raised more than £1,500 of her £2,500 target via her fundraising page, but has planned two events which she hopes will push her closer to her target.

She has organised and will host a Big Screen Charity Quiz on March 20, and a Zumba party on April 4, both at the Grange Community Centre.

Helena added: "I am running the London Marathon for all people with Multiple Sclerosis, for the amazing organisation I work for and for every single one of the amazing people I work with!"

To find out more about the MS Trust, go to mstrust.org.uk.

To support Helena and to find out more about her events, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JidborgAlexander.

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