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25 April 2010, 06:00
A woman from Shefford is taking part in the London Marathon today, for the first time.
40 year old Elise Walters, from Shefford in Bedfordshire, is taking part in this year’s London Marathon. She is running to raise funds for Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with coiliac disease.
Elise was diagnosed with coeliac disease three years ago after suffering from 20 years of misdiagnosis. After having struggled with her weight all her life she has now been able to get fit and lost 6 stone over a two year training period. Elise’s daughter has also been diagnosed recently with coeliac disease.
Coeliac disease is a autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to gluten. Damage to glut lining occurs when gluten is eaten. There is no cure or medication for the condition, only treatment is life-long adherence to a strict gluten-free died. Without a gluten-free diet, the disease can lead to other conditions, such as malnutrition, osteoporosis, bowl cancer and also can cause infertility problems.
1 in 100 people in the UK has celiac disease, however only 12.5% of those individuals have currently been diagnosed.
About the condition, Elise has been telling Heart:
“It’s taken me a number of years to obtain a place in the marathon. A few thing people in the past have said to me to run for a charity as you will get a place. But I want to run for my charity because to be able to raise that amount of money is hard going.
“I want to spread the word. I was misdiagnosed for about 20 years which is very very common with this disease, a lot of people carry it and don’t know it. So for me pushing the awareness for this is fantastic and two or three people have gone and had tests for themselves and their children since talking to me about it. So if it helps one other person get better than that’s great, that’s a job done.”
Elise is hoping to raise £1,000 for the charity.
If you would like to donate her go to www.justgiving.com/elise-walters