Klein, a 25 year old marketing executive who lives with chronic Hepatitis B, tells why he’ll be running the London Marathon for CLDF this Sunday.
I was first diagnosed with Hep B at the age of eight. What I remember most was the number of pills I would have to take every day, the restricted diet, and the number of times I had to visit the blood test centre. I would feel fatigued, and in turn was not allowed to play as freely as other children around me. I felt different, because I’d have a special meal, and take medication all the time. I also felt misunderstood, because my playmates’ parents would always judge me and look at me differently. It was also very frustrating, because I felt like one of the most important stages of my life, childhood, was taken away from me.
However, I was lucky enough to be able to access the medical help I needed at the time, and have a loving family which always gave me the help I needed. After six years on medication, I was told that my viral load had been suppressed and I no longer needed to take any medicine, but would just have to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle, whilst having regular blood test. Happily , my test results have been normal for 11 years now, but the virus will always live with me, and there is no cure yet to this disease.
Running a marathon has always been on my bucket list. So when I saw the opportunity to run it whilst raising money for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation I was really keen to do so. I know just what it’s like to be a child living with liver disease and I know that the work the Foundation does would help reduce many of the feelings of isolation which I experienced. I see taking on the marathon as a great way to raise awareness and funds for CLDF.
Now the big day is almost here I’m a little nervous but also excited as I’m keen to see the result of all the training I’ve put in. I’ve been delighted with the response to my fundraising – I’ve already raised over £3,000 and am determined to do more. Too take part in this iconic event with my friends and family cheering me on and to raise this amount for such an important cause will make me really proud.