You’ve got to be dedicated to train for a marathon. When Brit Joe England signed on to raise pounds for the Alkaptonuria (AKU) Society, he was optimistic about finishing the race in good form, but a knee injury two months before the event almost kept him on the sidelines. Even with his bum knee, he managed to complete the 26.22-mile race in under four hours. Why? He promised his friend he’d help support a worthy cause.
Joe was inspired to reach the finish line and even exceeded his fundraising goal of £1,500, raising £1,725 for the most worthy cause. Why did he do it? For his friend, Rob Marshall, who worked for the Cambridge-based Alkaptonuria Society.
Alkaptonuria is also called Black Bone Disease.
And if that name isn’t bad enough, it’s an extremely rare genetic condition that stops the person’s body from breaking down a chemical called homogenistic acid (HGA) which is produced naturally during the digestion of food. When HGA builds up in the body, it literally causes bone to turn black and become brittle. This leads to early onset osteoarthritis and — in some cases — other serious health conditions.
It’s a recessive condition that affects one in 250,000 people worldwide. Most symptoms don’t become apparent until around age 30.
The funds England raised for the Alkaptonuria Society will help underwrite their work to create more awareness for the rare disease, such as sponsorship of clinical trial throughout Europe. Click here to find out more information about these trials.