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Athletics helps Diss man recover from rare illness

Glenn Bate with members of Diss Athletics Club
Glenn Bate with members of Diss Athletics Club

A Diss runner is encouraging people of all ages to consider athletics as a hobby after the sport has helped him tackle a rare illness.

Glenn Bate was diagnosed with a life-limiting hereditary condition known as Cadasil after suffering a stroke in 2015. Cadasil is a rare genetic, degenerative, neurological syndrome that causes migraines, strokes and dementia.

Many of those who have the incurable condition can also suffer with depression and anxiety.

Glenn was determined not to let his diagnosis get the better of him. He not only took up athletics but also enrolled in a mental health first aid qualification course.

“Running was part of my desired recovery process and good for my mental health as I struggled with my own diagnosis,” said Glenn, from Bressingham.

Glenn completed the mental health first aid course with Attleborough-based Rosedale Training. They will be holding courses in Diss in July and September.

He is now a mental health first aider with Diss Athletics Club where he is also a committee member. He is aiming to help others increase awareness of how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health.

“I regularly compete in road races despite my condition, which would not have been possible without the support and friendship of my fellow members,” he said.

“The club has been absolutely fantastic, providing support and advice but most of all encouragement to progress.”

Rosedale director, Anne Beckett-Allen, said: “With at least one in four people affected by a mental health condition at some point, Glenn is an inspiration.”

Visit www.rosedaletraining.co.uk for more information about courses.

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