Student Tommy Coltman faces a life struggle battling cystic fibrosis, but is giving up his time to run the London Marathon and raise money helping others with the debilitating condition.
Tommy discovered five years ago he had cystic fibrosis at the age of 14.
As a child, he had developed a constant bad cough and suffered breathing difficulties, but these were mainly put down to him having repeated colds and flu.
In fact, it was not until his mother met her new partner – one whose own two children had cystic fibrosis – that the subject came up and he advised her to get Tommy checked by doctors.
Following that, the teenager was diagnosed with the life-shortening condition, which sees people experience a build-up of thick, sticky mucus that can cause chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage.
Five years later Tommy, now 19, who comes from Harrogate, North Yorks, and studies at university in Bournemouth, is concentrating on keeping fit.
The 19-year-old is a keen rugby player for his university and has been training hard for his marathon run.
And Tommy said running helps him – as it clears his airways, making it easier to breathe.
The 19-year-old, who is studying to become a chiropractor at AECC University College, Bournemouth, added:
I have never done long distance running before and as I play rugby for my university I am more used to sprinting short distances.
But I want to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as the condition has played a huge part in the life of myself and my family.
Tommy’s rigorous training schedule involves running eight miles every other day on picturesque Bournemouth beach.
He does this in addition to a daily 45-minute regime of taking medicines and carrying out physiotherapy to help fight off the symptoms of cystic fibrosis.
I am lucky as while I have cystic fibrosis I still have quite a great deal of lung capacity – at around 90 per cent – and carrying out exercise really helps me as it helps clear my airways.
It also gives me a great chance to raise money to help others who have this awful condition.
Anne Shinkwin, Director of Fundraising at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said:
The London Marathon is a fantastic event that is hugely important to us at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
We would very much like to thank Tommy for taking part this year and raising money for our cause as his hard efforts will certainly help us in our mission to fund research into cystic fibrosis and campaign to improve the lives of those with this terrible life shortening condition. We wish Tommy all the best on the day.
To donate and help Tommy raise money go online at https://cysticfibrosistrustlondonmarathon.everydayhero.com/uk/tommy