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When Jess Hunter’s Paralympic team mate died due to muscular dystrophy, her sister decided to take action

Seeing how muscle-wasting conditions affect her sister’s close friends has inspired a Surrey girl to sign up to run this April’s virtual Royal Parks Half Marathon as well as the physical event taking place in October for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Kimberley Hunter, 25 watched her elder sister Jess, 30, as she learnt to live with cerebral palsy and how she made it to Paralympic level playing Boccia.

Jess attends Treloar College in Alton, where she has many friends who have muscular dystrophy. Along the way she has sadly lost several she was close to, and then, during the first lockdown, one of Jess’s Paralympic team mates passed away.

Kimberley is running in their memories as, despite her sister not having the condition herself, she has seen the difficulties faced by those that do and how important it is to raise awareness and funds for research into finding treatments for the conditions.

She said:

My heart melts for all the families that have lost loved ones due to this horrible condition, so I have decided to run the Royal Parks Half for my sister, all of the friends that she has lost, their families and anybody who is living with muscular dystrophy.

Kimberley is new to running and this is her first ever half marathon. She has been training hard for the last four months and she said:

I’m really looking forward to challenge of taking part in this half marathon, both the virtual and real physical event.

It will be a fantastic experience to run through closed roads through four of London’s eight royal parks, Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens later in the year and meanwhile I am happy to run locally.

MDUK Regional manager for London Louise Moffat said:

Kimberley is one of nine runners to have signed up so far to run for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Now that this event is virtual we have unlimited places for the deadline of 12 February – so please don’t hesitate and sign up here

You can support Kimberley here

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