My name is Sheena Wade. I'm 27 years old and I'm from Dublin. This year, I'll be running the Flora Women's Mini Marathon for Duchenne Now, a charity set up to find a cure/treatment for sufferers of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is a rare muscle wasting disease affecting young boys.
The boys appear 'normal' as babies, with muscle strength beginning to recede during early childhood. Life expectancy is poor, usually late teens or early 20s. There are currently no treatments or cures.
As it is a relatively unknown disease it suffers from a lack of awareness and as such the research does not tend to receive the same level of financial support as research for more commonly known diseases. My boyfriend's two nephews have Duchenne, so it is a cause close to my heart.
His nephew Luca is an incredibly talented artist (he has a Facebook page called Luca's Doodles to show his drawings) and it is a great tragedy to think that simple things like the ability to use his hands will soon be taken away from him unless a treatment can be developed in time.
Duchenne Now is run by parents of boys with Duchenne and as such is focused on funding research which has the best possible chance of getting a treatment to market in a reasonable time frame in order to help boys who are currently suffering with the disease.
I have been fundraising for Duchenne charities each year since I found out about the disease. However, this will be my first time fundraising for Duchenne Now, as it is a relatively new charity. This will be my third year doing the Flora Women's Mini Marathon. The atmosphere is incredible and having people lining the streets supporting you the whole way around gives you a great boost to make sure you reach the finish line.
I started back in 'training mode' last week. It's going well so far – although it can be hard to motivate myself in the cold evenings. I am training on my own at the moment; however, my friend and I keep each other updated on our progress to make sure no one is slacking.
I walked the Flora Women's Mini Marathon in 2011 and promised myself I would be running it the following year. One year later and 3st lighter I crossed the finish line in 55 minutes – I would love to beat that time this year.