Holly puts in marathon effort to raise money for Parkinson’s cure

Holly Hastings, daughter of Scottish rugby legend Gavin, is set to run the London Marathon on Sunday in aid of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT).

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:12 am
Holly Hastings and mum Diane at last years London Marathon

She will take on the 26.2 mile challenge for her mother, Diane, who has lived with Parkinson’s for 16 years.

Diane was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s in 2003, aged just 39 and with very young children.

“She has dealt courageously with the many ways the disease has affected her,” said Gavin in The Cure Parkinson’s Trust’s BBC Lifeline Appeal 2017, “from the intense muscular pain and stiffness, to the disturbed sleep and loss of her sense of smell. It’s frustrating, exhausting and relentless.”

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Hard-training Holly – who has pounded the streets to get superfit for the event – said: “I think that opening up and speaking about Parkinson’s is a great way for people to understand the illness. However, I also see the marathon as a challenge for myself to complete and I like to think that I am running this for my mum, Diane, to show her how she has helped individuals to stay positive through also raising awareness.”

As a full-time student, Holly, 21, has been juggling a strict training schedule with university exams.

She added: “Whenever training gets tough or I’m complaining about muscle soreness or blisters, I think of my mum having lived with Parkinson’s for 16 years and not complaining once about it, then I know I need to suck it up and keep going. Compared to Parkinson’s disease, I just imagine that the marathon is a walk in the park.”

Though training seems equally as tough this time round, 2019 will not be Holly’s first time taking to the streets in London for this iconic race.

In 2018, she entered as part of team ‘Shake, Rattle and Run’, which also included her mum and family friend Fiona Maran. This year, inspired by their mums, Holly will be joined by Fiona’s daughter, Carla Maran who is also raising money for CPT.

CPT say the organisation is hugely grateful to Holly for taking on this huge challenge.

Helen Matthews, deputy CEO said: “Fundraising support is absolutely critical for the charity to enable us to achieve our goal. We aim to cure Parkinson’s and the only way we will do this is through the help of all our supporters – it’s as simple as that.”

Around 145,000 people in the UK are living with Parkinson’s, and it is predicted that one in 37 people will receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s in their lifetime. CPT funds innovative research which is dedicated to finding new treatments that can slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder characterised by tremors, stiffness, slowness of movement and balance problems. There is no cure.

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