Great North Run 2023 – introducing the LDUK team!

We are over the moon to be able to announce our fabulous team for this year’s Great North Run. On 10th September, Alex, Claire, Gareth, Ben, Laura and Will will be joining over 60,000 runners from Newcastle to South Sheilds.

Read more about our wonderful team and why they have chosen to run for Lyme Disease UK in their own words. Please donate if you can and leave messages of support to cheer them on at the Team fundraising page.

Alex and Claire Hamlin

‘We have previously supported Lyme Disease UK by challenging ourselves across various events in 2022. This year we are joining forces to run the Great North Run together in September 2023! We look forward to wearing the LDUK vests and supporting such a great cause!

We want to continue providing support by raising awareness of Lyme disease itself as well as supporting the LDUK charity, who have been of great support to Alex’s sister Vicky who has not only been battling with Stage 4 endometriosis, but also Lyme disease which had gone for years un-diagnosed. Vicky still faces a battle in attempts to find appropriate treatment that might help her start her recovery journey.

What many people don’t understand is that patients (and their families) have to sacrifice so much as well as their health to pay for private treatment. The amount of money some patients have to pay in order to work towards curing themselves is shocking, and in many cases, this prevents patients from recovering.’

Gareth Hill

‘My wife and I went for a run in Richmond Park and when we arrived home, my wife found a tick on her leg.

I removed it and we completely forgot about it. Around two weeks later, she was struck down with flu like symptoms’ and that’s when the hell that is Lyme disease commenced. LDUK really helped my wife with the information and support that she needed while going through Lyme disease treatment. I am running the Great North Run for LDUK, so that they can continue to help and support others who have been struck down with this debilitating disease.’

Ben Cleary

‘I travelled Australia between school and university where I met Sophia. Whilst in Australia she was bitten by a tick. She showed no sign of symptoms at the time, and we carried on our trip as normal, enjoying each other’s company both near and afar form one another on our travels.

At the age of 26 Sophia started showing signs of Lyme Disease with fatigue and pain but we were all hopeful that things would get better. Tragically, her health has only worsened. We spoke almost weekly when I first found out but it became harder and harder for her to concentrate and communicate. It was heart wrenching knowing the pain she was having and there was nothing anyone could do to help. Sophia has remained positive throughout and her parents have been unbelievable with their support with her mum, Karen, changing her occupation to be Sophia’s full-time carer.

Sophia is the kindest person I’ve ever met, she has always been more interested in other wellbeing before her own. This truly couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Whilst things look bleak, I know Sophia will never give up and that her family are doing an incredible job to keep her comfortable. Please support this wonderful charity and me in doing a half marathon in her name! This is a heavily underfunded disease and something that needs more gravitas in press and medical circles to research possible cures, to one day, allow Sophia to enjoy a normal life again.’

Laura Preston

‘Lyme Disease is an illness very close to home and I’ve seen first hand the devastating effects it can have on people. I am running to raise awareness of the impact the disease can have and how important it is to catch it early. If caught too late the treatment options are limited and expensive, mostly through private hospitals.

Witnessing my boyfriend’s sister Vicky suffer with this horrible disease has opened my eyes to the struggles people face and the need for more money to be raised to support the research on this.’

Will Williams

‘I started running as I’d just turned 40 and was feeling really unfit – the daily aches and pains seemed to be getting worse, and it seemed like every couple of months I’d pick up a bug or flu.

Running was difficult, and before long I started getting eye problems and neurological issues.  Sometimes the feeling of fatigue was overwhelming, but my GP couldn’t find anything wrong and sent me on way.  Then after six months blind spots developed in my eyes, and I was rushed to see the specialists at University Hospital Wales.  After testing me for everything under the sun, a test finally came back positive for Lyme antibodies.  Mystery solved they said!

However, as most people who have had undiagnosed Lyme for some time learn, it’s far from solved and the initial courses of Antibiotics are unlikely to fully rid you of the condition.  LDUK were an absolute godsend for me, helping me understand the condition and what I could do to keep it in check, so I’m delighted to be running to raise funds and further support the work they do.’