Paul's marathon challenge for his son
A Glasgow man, whose son has epilepsy, laced up his trainers to take on this year's Virgin Money London Marathon.
Paul Gunn, from Mosspark, took on the challenging 26.2 mile run on Sunday to raise vital funds for national charity Epilepsy Action.
The charity provides advice and support to the 600,000 people with epilepsy in the UK.
Paul’s son Ben (12) was diagnosed with unclassified generalised epilepsy in 2014. His seizures, whether during a sleepover, on holiday or whilst enjoying sports, are sporadic but always have a huge impact on the family.
Paul said: “It’s a horrible thing to see your child going through a seizure.
“Initially most of Ben’s seizures struck just after waking up in the morning, but we soon got knocked out of that rhythm when he had a seizure during his lunch break at school.
“We’ve gone from being on edge first thing in the morning to now being worried for most of the day.”
Paul (52) describes the ongoing struggle to let Ben be independent and enjoy sports, whilst trying to keep a constant eye on him.
He said: “Wondering when the seizure will strike is always at the back of your mind, while at the same time encouraging everyone to keep fit.
“Imagine going for an organised 5k run or walk up at the Kelpies and to take your eye off your child for a few seconds, only to turn around and find them in a heap on the floor having yet another seizure.
“Then the guilt kicks in. Could this have been avoided if we hadn’t done this run?”
Ben’s epilepsy has spurred Paul into action.
Since his son’s diagnosis, Paul has completed three Scottish marathons in 2015, and Londonwas one of three marathons on his list this year. He was on course to raise £1,750 for Epilepsy Action when he crossed the finish line in London.
Paul said: “The help that we have received during this testing time has been invaluable. Deep down, I know that there are others suffering more than us and this is one of the reasons I want to raise as much money as I can, and to run one of the most iconic runs in the UK.”
Paul will continue his relentless fundraising with marathons in Stirling on May 21 and Fort William on July 30.
The money Paul raises will help to support Epilepsy Action’s work all over the UK.
The charity campaigns to improve epilepsy services and raise awareness of the condition.
It also provides a national network of support groups, funds a specialist nurse scheme, holds regular regional events and has a freephone and email helpline.