Benwick runner who spent teenage years battling arthritis will run in London Marathon alongside fiancé to raise funds for charity

Michelle and Chris are running in the London Marathon to raise funds for Arthritis UK

Michelle and Chris are running in the London Marathon to raise funds for Arthritis UK - Credit: Archant

A WOMAN whose arthritis left her wheelchair-bound and bed-ridden aged 17 will tackle the London Marathon with her fiancé in April.

Benwick couple Michelle Hoffman and Chris Tinsley hope to raise £5,000 for medical research charity Arthritis Research UK.

A keen runner, Michelle was just 15 when she was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of arthritis which causes inflammation to the joints in the spine and other areas of the body.

The 24-year-old first experienced back pain aged 13 and by the time she was 17 she struggled to walk, could not move her neck, often used a wheelchair and needed help with almost every task.

But, after being bed-ridden for a year, Michelle was prescribed a new treatment called Humira and, just three hours later, she was able to stand unaided for the first time in a year.


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Within two weeks, she was able to walk again and is now pain-free.

Michelle is excited about the prospect of making a difference for other arthritis sufferers.

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She said: “So far the training is going well; it really helps that my fiancé is also taking part, as we can motivate one another to keep going even when it gets tough.

“We did the Great Yorkshire Run last year and it was hard work but really rewarding.

“Any local support would mean so much to me. Every donation that I receive will make a real difference by helping Arthritis Research UK continue their life-changing work.”

Arthritis Research UK conducts research into the prevention, treatment and cure of arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions.One in six people in the UK are affected by arthritis.

You can support Michelle and Chris’ fund-raising by making a donation at her Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/Michelle-Chris

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