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Nan's rare condition inspires marathon charity effort

Kate Purling
Kate Purling

A doting granddaughter is to run the London Marathon in memory of her grandmother.

Kate Purling, 32, will run the marathon in April in support of a little known charity called Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK.

Kate’s grandmother, Sue, who died in 2008, suffered from scleroderma for many years.

It was only in later life that doctors diagnosed the condition, which meant that her hands and fingers would often seize up.

“I can remember when I was about 13 or 14, sitting with Nan in her living room, with bowls of hot wax she would use to try to warm her hands up and ease the pain,” said Kate, a former Diss Junior School teacher.

“She would have been in her mid-60s then and, despite all sorts of tests, nobody knew what was wrong.

Kate's nan, Sue
Kate's nan, Sue

“It was only towards the last five or six years of life that she was diagnosed and, though more is known about the condition today, it is still little known, and why I chose it as my charity.”

Scleroderma is caused by the immune system and can also affect internal organs and blood vessels.

Kate, who now lives in Attleborough, grew up Diss, where her parents Linda and David, still live.

In the past, she has raised money for Parkinson’s, which her other grandparents, Lynn and Babs Purling, suffered from. She has also raised money for cancer research, as grandparents Sue and Ken Barnes suffered from the condition.

To sponsor Kate, click here: www.justgiving.com

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