Why we fundraise: Keith and Harleigh’s story
Here, Keith and Harleigh, two members of the relay team, share their motivations and how it felt to run for a cause which meant so much to them.
“Before I met my wife, I was unaware people could be affected at such a young age”
Keith Patterson, took part in the marathon after his wife was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
“This year I took part in the Team Relay Belfast Marathon for Versus Arthritis, as it’s a cause very close to me.
“My wife, girlfriend at the time, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was just 23. It affects her whole body and two years ago we made the decision to move to a bungalow to accommodate her condition.
“Thankfully in the last few years my wife’s condition has been under control and she has been able to avoid medication and counteract the disease with heathy eating, regular massages and minimising her work hours. But for a while it impacted on every aspect of her life.
“Before we met, I was unaware that people could be affected at such a young age.
“Arthritis also affects other members of my family including both my mum and mother-in-law, as well as friends and work colleagues, I hadn’t realised what a huge impact it could have.
“Despite not having any interest in running and no experience, I decided to take part in the team relay for the Belfast Marathon this year. The disease has affected so many people around me that I wanted to push myself and do all I could to make a difference for people living with the condition.
“Pinnacle has always considered their employee’s best interests when it comes to choosing charities to support and I was so proud they chose mine. I hope the money we raised as a team will help those affected in making life easier and more pain free.”
“Running the marathon for Versus Arthritis meant so much to the Pinnacle team”
Another member of the team, Harleigh Lagdon, otherwise known for her title as Miss Belfast, also took part in the relay.
“On the morning of the marathon, participants took their places at the start line at Stormont and the atmosphere was infectious.
“Each runner displayed their charity tribute on the back of their activewear which not only raised awareness but also their motivations for running the marathon. I felt incredibly proud to be wearing Versus Arthritis.
“I managed to accomplish a new personal best doing the first 5k in 28 minutes and at the end of my leg I handed my baton to my colleague Pamela. It was an amazing feeling to have the support of so many people at the side lines cheering people on.
“Running the marathon for Versus Arthritis meant so much to me and the Pinnacle team as several our friends, employees and loved ones suffer from arthritis daily, and the impact it has is something a lot of people don’t recognise.
“Not only did we raise awareness of the charity and the huge impact the condition has on people’s lives, but we also spoke to so many people about the new brand and raised an astounding total of £1,068.31, which we hope will go towards making a big difference to the lives of so many people.”