Amanda: My child with autism inspired me to keep running

6 Feb

I got this today via an email newsletter that I receive and I thought it was a lovely story.

Amanda after running the Bupa 10,000Amanda Loftus, a 28 year old entrepreneur and mother of three, caught the running bug after participating in the 2012 Bupa London 10,000 to raise funds for Ambitious about Autism.

Amanda, who has a son with autism and a daughter awaiting diagnosis, said she was “overjoyed” to have the chance to raise awareness and funding for an organisation whose work supports young families such as hers.  She said: “Finding out that your baby might have a lifelong neurological condition can be overwhelmingly challenging and it’s really difficult to get sound advice and support so I really appreciate the value of Ambitious about Autism’s work”.

Running the race

Running in the race, which takes a 10 kilometre route around some of central London’s most famous landmarks, was a big challenge for Amanda. She said: “I had previously done a sponsored walk at night which was further than the London 10,000 but I think I was a bit naïve about how long 10 kilometres can seem to be when you’re running it!”

The annual race took place on an unusually warm Sunday in May last year. She said: “It reached 28 degrees that day and I wasn’t expecting that much heat”. Amanda shared the route with the likes of Olympic Gold Medallist Mo Farrah, who completed the race in just 29 minutes and 21 seconds.

My son kept me going

Amanda’s motivation to keep running came from her son: “After about four kilometres I was so hot and exhausted, I wanted to give up and cry. But I kept thinking about my amazing son who, when after starting to crawl he broke his collar bone at the age of 18 months, persevered and found a way to move about by using his elbow instead. I realised then that I could not give up, but had to keep going. I think we adults have a lot to learn from children and young people.”

Matthew and Amanda running the race

Completing the race has inspired Amanda and her family to be more active: “Now I am running regularly and my daughter plays a lot of football.”

The co-founder of the pamper party company Girlie Night In enjoyed fundraising for the charity. “It wasn’t difficult,” said Amanda. “Everyone knows that it is such a worthy cause. We organised a pamper party and celebrity auction to help raise funds. It really is a lot of fun!”

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