A student with cystic fibrosis is refusing to let the condition stop her from completing in the London Marathon.
Katie Gaffing, of Ribchester, who also has diabetes, has the added challenge of keeping her blood sugar levels consistent throughout training, keeping sweets in her pockets for when her blood sugar levels start to dip.
But the 22-year-old is undeterred and is looking forward to the 26-mile challenge, raising money for Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Katie said: “I will be attempting to run my first and probably last marathon, as I suffer from a genetic condition called Cystic Fibrosis and in 2014 I was diagnosed with CFRD (Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes).
“This is commonly known to develop with age in CF patients. Throughout my life I have been lucky enough to have had an amazing support system around me. This has meant that I have always remained extremely healthy with stable lung functions and have always been able to do everything that I’ve ever wanted without my CF or diabetes stopping me.
“This isn’t always the case for patients with CF and this is why I want to take the opportunity to raise money and awareness for the cause. The money I raise will go towards research for new drugs which will aim to make the lives of people with CF easier and more stable.
“I am lucky that my lung functions are not too badly affected and this enables me to train. In fact, since running three times a week and swimming with Preston Swimming Club in preparation for the marathon, my lung functions have increased by five per cent.
“I decided to apply for the London Marathon because I wanted to take on a challenge and help to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Trust - it’s definitely been challenging, especially with the dark nights and winter weather, but I am really looking forward to being on the start line and lots of my family are coming down to London to support me.”
Katie, who is studying BSc (Hons) Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University, is currently on a 12 month industry placement in Preston, with SPAR UK wholesaler for the North of England, James Hall & Co.
She is working as a technical assistant in the food Qquality department, conducting taste panels and studying technical specifications of product lines.
Katie added: “Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far - the monies raised will help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust conduct more research and develop new medications that help raise life expectancies. They do fantastic work and I’m really excited to be able to run in their name.”
To support Katie, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katie-gaffing4