I’m Running Fifty-Two Races to Fight Guillain-Barré syndrome

I suffered from Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in 2009.

GBS affects 1 in 100,000 people. It begins with weakness or tingling sensations in the legs, and can spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase until muscles cannot be used at all and the person is almost totally paralyzed. It can be life threatening.

My experience with GBS was tough. In a few days, I went from athletic to struggling to walk to the letterbox. It took too long to get diagnosed and I didn’t know where to get help — it was mentally very tough. I couldn’t look after my family, and I wasn’t able to work. It took me over a year to get back to even close to normal, and more than two years to run again. You can learn more about my story here.

Late 2009 -- a few months after I got GBS. Out of shape, but on the road to recovery.
Late 2009 — a few months after I got GBS. Out of shape, but on the road to recovery.

Now I’m doing what GBS stopped me doing for a while: running! I’m going to run 52 races in 2015 to raise money for the awesome work of the GBS/CIDP Foundation. This website is called “Fifty-Two Fives” because my GBS-defiant, fundraising plan was hatched in 2012 with the goal of running fifty-two 5k races in one year. As the idea developed, I decided that I’d count any race that had a timer — it could be a one-mile time trial, a 5k, a 10k, a half-marathon, or even a marathon. I suspect there’ll be more 5ks than otherwise — but let’s see what the journey brings!

Please support me by donating at IndieGoGo. And stick around here and follow my running journey — I’ll be writing about it every week, and I promise it’ll be fun.

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