Louise Tuson is running the Women’s Running Race Series Cardiff 10K on Sunday, 21 May, for Crohn’s & Colitis UK, after her youngest daughter, Georgia, was diagnosed with Crohn’s last year. She tells us her story.
“In January 2016, my youngest daughter, Georgia – aged 10 at the time – became very ill, very quickly. She lost a lot of weight and became so fatigued, it broke my heart every time I looked at her. I took her to the doctor and, after a blood test, she was diagnosed at having coeliacs disease. We were advised to put her on a gluten-free diet and that we should see a huge difference in her within three weeks. So we went totally gluten free but she just became worse. She was taken into hospital and after blood tests, an MRI, endoscopy, biopsy and colonoscopy, she was diagnosed with not only coeliac disease but also Crohn’s disease.
“We were pretty devastated but set about getting her well and keeping her well so, with lots of medication and steroids, she became really well and back to being ‘Georgia’. However, as soon as she came off the steroids, the problems became much worse. She is now on an infusion regularly and back on steroids for the timebeing.
“We were asked to all get family tested for coeliac disease. I tested negative but sadly my eldest daughter, Riley, aged 13, tested positive. We switched the household to gluten free and they have both taken to the new way of life remarkably well.
“As you can imagine, this has been an incredibly stressful year for me, trying to be positive and strong around the girls, but at night when I tried to sleep or when I was away from the girls, I started to crumble. I needed to do something for me, to keep my head from totally messing up, so I picked up my training and really went for it with the running.
“I have completed 56 parkruns and have done the Race for Victory – Cardiff in April, and entered the Women’s Running Race Series 10K in Cardiff in May, the Swansea Half-Marathon in June and the Hart 4 in August. I gave up chocolate and alcohol in January 2016 and crisps in January 2017, and haven’t touched any of them since. I run five to six times a week and I have lost four stone and dropped four dress sizes in 15 months. I have loads more energy and feel I can cope a little more with the things thrown at us.
“We raised £335.00 for Coeliac UK last year with Georgia and I running the Bristol Colour Vibe 5K – with Riley throwing the colours at us and supporting us.
“This year, I am running and fundraising for Crohn’s & Colitis UK – my target was £250 and we are currently at £800. Georgia raised £55.50 of that herself with a bake sale in school with 100 cupcakes that the three of us baked ourselves.”
You can support Louise’s fundraising at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Louisetuson3