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22 April 2012, 06:00 | Updated: 22 April 2012, 07:42
Cystic fibrosis patient Mike Mackay is putting his new lungs to the test in a London sporting event to support a charity helping people with the condition.
Mike, from Witham, will be taking part in the Virgin London Marathon today (April 22nd) in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Trust.
The 30-year-old decided to help the charity after undergoing a life-saving lung transplant three years ago to treat the inherited disease which affects the organs.
Mike said: I have never run a marathon before, or had much sporting experience at all, but I thought this would be a challenge worth doing.
"I wanted to show off my new life with my new lungs and I wanted to do something that could help the charity that supports the people like me living with the disease.
"The CF Trust also funds research to find a treatment that could help people with CF live longer and better lives.''
To sponsor Mike, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/mikesnewlungs.
Joining Mike is 38-year-old Darren Cossey from Rochford, who is a wheelchair user, and is taking part in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon on behalf of national disability charity Livability.
Darren is one of five wheelchair users who will race at the rear of the mass field in today's London Marathon with thousands of non-disabled runners.
Darren's challenge will help raise much-needed funds to support disabled people in the UK.
Darren became disabled after a motorcycle accident in August 1995 and he has since taken part in various charity fundraising initiatives.
Darren said: "I decided to take part in the marathon because I wanted to show that being disabled doesn't mean that you can't challenge yourself and achieve great things. I also wanted to fundraise for Livability as it is a great charity that supports disabled people. I really wanted to help others who are less fortunate and able than I am."
Anyone wanting to support Darren can go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/darrencossey