Danny Halkyard runs the Manchester Marathon 2023 for Juvenile Arthritis Research
On Sunday 16th April, Danny Halkyard did something incredible. He ran 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 48 minutes and raised over £3000 for Juvenile Arthritis Research.
Danny explains why he decided to run in the Manchester Marathon:
In 2021, at just 1 year old, my daughter Florence was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).
JIA is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks the joints causing inflammation, persistent joint pain and reduced mobility. It affects around 1 in every 1000 children and young people.
Many JIA sufferers, like Florence, are also affected by a secondary disease called Uveitis, which is inflammation inside the eye. It can sometimes cause eye pain, but sometimes can be entirely asymptomatic (no obvious symptoms) but can be causing damage to the eye. In worst case scenarios, left untreated, it can cause loss of eyesight.
Along with the pain and disruption that JIA brings, what this also means for Florence, and other children, is an unpleasant course of particularly strong medication and intense procedures, something that no person, let alone a child should ever have to experience.
Through Florence's condition, endless hospital appointments and research online, I came across and have been speaking with Juvenile Arthritis Research, a charity making a difference to the lives of those affected by Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. They are a parent-led charity with direct experience of JIA, and are run entirely by volunteers. Their vision is to one day have a world where no child has to suffer from arthritis. Their core aim is to find a cure for JIA and improve earlier diagnosis by raising awareness that children and young people get arthritis, while providing support to children with JIA and their families. Juvenile Arthritis Research rely entirely on fundraising and donations, and every penny raised goes directly towards the great work they do, and can make a real difference!
To help support this fantastic charity, and in turn to support children, young people and families affected by JIA, I ran the Manchester Marathon on Sunday 16th April 2023.
Running the Manchester Marathon was very enjoyable. It was great to see the hard work I have put into training over the last 4 months pay off. But more importantly to double my fundraising target has been overwhelming and is something I never expected. Juvenile Arthritis Research have provided my family and I with some invaluable support over the last two years since my daughter's diagnosis, and it’s great to be able to give something back, raising awareness along the way.
The atmosphere on Sunday was incredible and the support went a long way to getting me through the 26.2miles. It was great to see so many good causes being promoted and supported.
I was aiming to raise £1500 for Juvenile Arthritis Research. Thanks to the kind support of friends, family and colleagues, I managed to totally smash my target and raised over double that amount.
A huge thank you to Danny for his incredible effort and achievement, and to his family for supporting him. As well as raising vital funds, Danny helped raise awareness that children and young people get arthritis by wearing our new running t-shirt.