Harby runner Gemma doing the Paris Marathon for Lymphoedema Support Network in memory of her grandma

Gemma running PHOTO: Supplied
Gemma running PHOTO: Supplied
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A first-time marathon runner is fundraising in the name of her grandma who died in December from Lymphoedema.

Gemma King, from Harby, is taking part in the Paris Marathon on Sunday for Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN).

The Lymphoedema Support Network work with those who suffer from Lymphoedema and give support, guidance and day to day tips on how to manage it.

Gemma said: “It means so much to me to be able to do this in honour of my grandma. Her major organs failed as she her body couldn’t cope with the Lymphoedema, therefore this is an incredibly emotional time for me as well as physically demanding challenge.

“I have been running for about two years but this is my first marathon.

“I decided to pick Paris as I wanted to run a marathon in an iconic city.

“I have been training intensely since January and have been coached by Roy Boddington at Waterfield Leisure Centre, with a plan to increase my mileage, yet avoid injury.”

Gemma has decided to dedicate a mile to someone on her way around the course, so has stitched 26 ribbons to her t-shirt to think of them.

The 33-year-old said: “For each mile I will send good wishes to those with the condition. It’s a great incentive for me to complete this, as well as feeling like I am helping.

“Although the loss of my grandma makes me very sad, I am so happy to be able to do this, and I know she would be proud of me for doing this.”

“If I can do this, anyone can. I am not a natural runner but I am giving this my best shot.”

So far, Gemma has raised £2,045 for her charity of choice from sponsorship.

A fundraising event she organised, a family and dog fun day in Harby, raised £1,300 thanks to support from the village community and local businesses.

l To sponsor Gemma visit her online JustGiving fundraising page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/g-king2