Emma’s story

Emma began running in 2017. As a full-time carer for her daughter, Emma was looking for something which could help her decompress. Over the years she has run miles, made friends and raised money for the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Foundation, to support families like hers.

Here’s her story in her own words: ​

I’m Emma and Mom to two boys and one girl. My daughter, who’s now 16, was born with a rare chromosomal condition called Smith-Magenis Syndrome, as a result she has profound and complex disabilities and requires around the clock care. I had to give up work after she was born to become her full time carer, life is unpredictable but full of love.

I took up running in 2017, which was a surprise to many as I had been the one at school who would do anything to get out of doing PE. I hated it! I started doing the couch to 5K initially to get fit and lose a bit of weight. A year later I discovered Run Birmingham and began running with the Pype Hayes group. I now attend at least 3 sessions a week, Castle Vale, Pype Hayes, Shard End and Babbs Mill groups.

I love the social aspect that the group gives me and I’ve made so many fantastic friends. I’ve also achieved goals through running with the group that I never dreamed I would. My highlight has to be running the Virtual London Marathon in April! Yes you read that right, little old me ran a marathon.

“I’ve made so many fantastic friends and achieved goals I would never have dreamed of”

Initially, to keep myself motivated I signed up to a couple of local races to raise some money for the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Foundation, a charity that supports families like ours. I’m so lucky to have such a great bunch of supportive run buddies, this year they have helped me raise the profile of the charity and together we’ve raised over £2,000.

I manage to fit in running around caring for my daughter. Using the time when she’s either at school or with her carer. Caring for a child that has additional needs that has unpredictable health needs is extremely stressful. Having running in my life gives me the ability to cope better.

“Caring for a child that has unpredictable health needs, running helps me cope”​

There is nothing quite like lacing up your trainers and getting out for a run when you feel like you have the weight of the world resting on your shoulders. It almost feels like a therapy session.

If Emma's story has inspired you...
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Run Walk Lead

Tracey leads walks and runs in Shard End, Tile Cross, Sheldon, Pype Hayes and Castle Vale . If you have any questions or would like a chat before joining a walk, email at [email protected] to arrange an intro call

Join a running group

The Pype Hayes group meets every other Thursday from 18:30-19:30. Meet at Pype Hayes Car Park (995 Chester Rd, Erdington, Birmingham B24 0HG)

Bryony Lawless
Author: Bryony Lawless