a CHARITY champion who suffers from cystic fibrosis has completed her first half-marathon in aid of gene therapy research.
Sophie Longton (23), of Woodhead Road, Read, along with her three friends Elizabeth Morgan, Tamsin Ridgwell and Ellie Fitzgerald, put their best foot forward for London’s Run to the Beat race and raised more than £2,300.
Sophie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease, at the age of eight.
It is caused by a defective gene which clogs the internal organs, specifically the lungs and digestive system, with a thick sticky mucus, leading to chronic infections and difficulty digesting food.
However, she has never let the condition prevent her from leading a busy and active lifestyle and she has always campaigned nationally to raise awareness of CF.
Last year she was chosen to take part in an inspirational journey with the BBC2 Horizon’s episode of “Miracle Cure? A Decade of the Human Genome”, in which she met and interviewed scientists researching gene therapy for CF.
Sophie, who is a former pupil of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School and is currently working as an academic mentor at Mount Carmel High School, Accrington, said: “We all finished the run in two hours and three minutes so faster than we expected!
“We did it together and out of 17,000 runners I came 7,081 so I’m really happy! It was a fantastic event, the atmosphere was amazing and the music really spurred us on.”