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Simone is a superstar
Champion runner Simone Clarke is being hailed a real superstar after completing Sunday’s London marathon in spite of 20 seizures on route.
The 39-year old from Southampton had her first seizure of the race at the eight-mile mark when she began to suffer stomach pains. She had left her medication at home and thinks stress may have triggered the seizure.
By the time she crossed the finishing line she had experienced 20 seizures in six and a half hours, each time falling to the ground and remaining unconscious for up to 30 seconds.
Simone was joined in training and during the race by her friend Tally Hall, 27, who ran by her side and was there to support her every time she fell to the ground.
Simone was first diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of five and regularly has seizures but has never let them hold her back. She first started running seriously in 2006 as a way of getting fit and was quickly bitten by the bug.
Said Tally: ‘I was expecting Simone to have a couple of seizures during the event but I wasn’t expecting them to be so many and so frequent. I have never known her to be that bad before.’
Simone, who was raising money for Epilepsy Society, said she could never have taken part in the race – or completed it – without the support of her friend. ‘Without her I would never have been able to do it,’ she said.
Messages of support
Following Simone’s remarkable achievement, Twitter, Facebook and Epilepsy Society’s forum have been flooded with messages of support while donations to her Just Giving site have topped the £1,000 mark.
Said Epilepsy Society’s communications and campaigns assistant Angie King: ‘Simone is unique and an absolute star and so is her friend Tally. To run for six and a half hour hours while coping with so many seizures is quite incredible.
‘We are really grateful to them both for the amount of money they have brought in for the charity. We are also grateful to all the people who have responded so generously to Simone's story.
‘We had 44 runners taking part in the marathon and they look set to boost our funds by more than £50,000. This will help us to continue to provide vital services such as our confidential helpline and to undertake pioneering research into the causes and treatment of epilepsy.
‘We’d like to say a huge thank you to all of them.’
You can read more about Simone here (opens in a new window).
Or check out Simone’s Just Giving site at www.justgiving.com/wingymouse
Pictures from the London marathon 2012 (opens in a new window).