#MSCOVID19: it’s over, but it is not

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★

I have just completed the Virtual New York City Marathon in London and have clearly survived to tell the tale. Not only did I prove many doubters wrong, I even managed to surprise myself by dipping under the 3:20 mark (3:19:07 when I clocked 42.2km on my Garmin). It was only 3 years ago, due to chronic right hip pain, that I decided my running career was over. I interpreted the pain as being due to early osteoarthritis. Despite still having some hip pain it is so much better than it was. I suspect losing weight and exercising, or using the hip, has given it a new lease of life. This for me is one of the positives of COVID-19.; it has allowed many people like me to reassess their lives and to do different things. If COVID-19 hadn’t happened I would not have just completed a virtual marathon. My experience gives credence to the saying ‘use it or lose it’.

My motivation for doing the marathon was to raise money for Dr Ruth’s and Dr Kang’s COVID-19 antibody study. The reason ‘it is not over yet’ is that we have many miles to go before we reach our target of £25,000. The good news is that we very close to raising £10,000, which is the first funding milestone, which will allow us to actually start the process of recruiting pwMS and collecting their bloodspots on Guthrie cards for our antibody assay. 

Prof G after completing his NYC virtual marathon

I, therefore, want to take a moment and thank those of you who have been so generous and donated money to our study. Your support and encouragement are much appreciated. For those of you who have not donated yet please consider making a small contribution; every little bit helps and also demonstrates that this is not just our project, but a community project. 

The next phase of our fundraising will involve a series of topical webinars, but more on that later. At the moment we are discussing the logistics of how we can make this happen in a way that allows everyone to have a chance of attending the webinars. 

If you have other ideas for us to raise the money please let us know.  

CoI: multiple

Twitter: @gavinGiovannoni  Medium: @gavin_24211

18 thoughts on “#MSCOVID19: it’s over, but it is not”

  1. Absolutely fantastic news! Definitely worth the rose-tinted five stars.
    Thank you – and thanks to your hip for holding up!

  2. Congratulations on doing the marathon. I’m a believer in sheer determination and practise make these sort of achievements possible.

  3. Fantastic achievement and from a pwMS – thank you so much for making a difference for us.

    Are you only going to recruit pwMS on anti CD20 from your cohort/patch or are you going to spread it further?

    Pick me, pick me! 😀

  4. Well done Gavin – you have inspired me to do the same although I have never done a marathon … maybe I can walk or jog?

  5. As my family says ‘Definitely a Well Done Me Moment!’
    So pleased you’ve been able to combine a great marathon result with assisting in raising the required dosh for the study.

  6. That is a really good time, especially for running it on your own (I assume). I always need a race situation to spur me on. The pandemic has had the opposite effect on my running. No more commuting to a large open plan office (running there at least once a week), no more walking between offices or to site visits, no more running group. And almost all of my races cancelled – but Beachy Head is still in the calendar next Saturday.

    Now the gyms are back open I’ve engaged a personal trainer to help me recover from a fall I had last November (bruising my coccyx) and proximal hamstring tendinopathy due to being so sedentary and to get stronger and faster. The goal is to run Edinburgh which has been rescheduled to May next year, in a qualifying time for London Marathon. Last time I ran London it was with diplopia, so I’d like a retake!

    Anyway, I donated a while back! They say you can still expect a lot of donations after race day, so fingers crossed!

  7. Congratulations and very impressive time given the limited time you were training for it. Really fantastic!

  8. Congratulations! What an achievement and for a noble and vital cause. I too recommenced running again yesterday (after baby) and boy it’s wonderful. It has been a good time for reassessment in life, that is for sure. I had the pleasure of meeting you last time you were in Oz and always enjoy your blogs. Thanks and all the best, Renee

  9. Just Curious, how much money is needed? If already discussed, I missed post.
    Congrats on your marathon, you are a winner in my book. Thank you so much for your hero-like MS research to help us as well.
    If I am gonna raise funds for a cause, I want to give to someone who is making a difference vs a black hole of who knows, no disrespect to the large MS societies.

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