Our Dad has been diagnosed with IPF and he is being treated at the Royal Brompton Hospital, where he is also taking part in research. Our fundraising will go towards research into this incurable disease and taking part will hopefully help raise awareness.

Over to Dad:

'I was diagnosed with IPF two and a half years ago. I’d never heard of it. It’s a rare, progressive, incurable disease. The lungs scar relentlessly, becoming less and less efficient. Thus the body will become increasingly starved of oxygen. When I was diagnosed, the average time between diagnosis and death was three years.

'So far for me, things haven’t been so bad. I take a drug which may slow up progress of the disease. I’m closely monitored at the Royal Brompton and take part in drug research trials there. The Brompton is a world leader in the diagnosis, management and treatment of lung disease. I’m bowled over by the brilliant (NHS) care I receive there. My lungs are worsening but, at the moment, only slowly. The Brompton medics describe me as an ‘outlier’ and now predict a slower decline than initially feared.

'So a septuagenarian with diseased lungs attempting to run 13 miles seems a nicely defiant way of raising both awareness of IPF and extra cash for its research. Now here’s the best bit. All my daughters and a son-in-law are running in the half marathon too, raising money for the same cause. So thank you so much Catherine, Helen, Ruth, Sarah and Stew.

'I feel pretty uncomfortable asking for anything like this – but please have a look at what IPF is (e.g. https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis-ipf ). Though classified as rare, 6000 people in the UK are diagnosed with it. And it would be great if you’d sponsor me: £13? – a pound a mile would be great.'

Toby Maher who heads up Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis research at the Royal Brompton adds this:

‘IPF is a life-threatening disease that literally takes a person’s breath away. It’s fantastic that John is fighting the disease head on and in doing so is raising money for much needed research.’

Catherine Westoby