A Doncaster mum is to runs her first marathon tomorrow to raise awareness of autism.
Paula Fraser will be pounding the streets of the capital on her first Virgin London Marathon to raise awareness and funds for the National Autistic Society (NAS), the UK’s leading autism charity.
Paula was to be joined by husband Stephen, who is also a member of Doncaster’s Footmark Fitness Training running group, but he was forced to pull out after sustaining an injury during training.
The Fraser family understand only too well the enormous challenges faced by people living with autism. Their seven-year-old daughter Ella has the condition and Paula gave up work three years ago to become her full-time carer.
Ella attends the Coppice Special School, in Ashfield Road, Hatfield and staff and parents have rallied behind Paula and are backing her fundraising efforts.
Paula, said: “It’s been my lifetime ambition to run the marathon and I am delighted to be running for a charity and cause close to my heart. Our daughter Ella has autism, ADHD and learning disabilities and needs a high level of care.
“We knew something was wrong with Ella from 6 months old but took until she was 18 months old to get anyone to listen to us and to get a referral for Ella to the community paediatrician. She was then diagnosed just before her third birthday.
“There’ll be over half a million spectators on 13 April and I’m hoping that by taking part in the race I’ll raise much needed funds for the NAS and help to increase public understanding of this hidden disability.”
David Boorman, Head of Supporter Fundraising at the NAS, said: ”We’re so grateful to Paula for training so hard and for running for us in this year’s Virgin London Marathon.
“Autism is a lifelong condition which affects thousands of people like Ella across the UK. Without inspirational fundraisers like Paula we would not be able to continue our vital work helping those with autism not just to cope with their day-to-day challenges but to live the life they choose.”
Paula has an online fundraising page at http://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-Fraser2