Marathon dream comes true for Bethan
Bethan Griffiths will make her dream of taking part in a marathon come true on Sunday 9 April – thanks to the support of two members of staff from National Star.
Becky Amor and Andy Woolway will push Bethan in an all-terrain wheelchair for 25 miles in the Brighton Marathon and Bethan, using her walking frame, will walk across the finish line.
The 22-year-old is a third year learner at National Star College.
‘Being a part of a marathon is always something that I’ve dreamt of doing but never thought I’d get to do,’ said Bethan, from Stourbridge.
‘I mentioned it to Becky during a physiotherapy session at National Star. Becky didn’t say I couldn’t do it. Instead she said she would figure out a way we could.’
For Bethan, who has cerebral palsy and uses a powerchair for getting about outside her flat, the marathon will also have a very special meaning.
She is taking part in memory of her mom Amanda who died last year of motor neurone disease.
‘Learning how to walk was one of the greatest achievements of my childhood,’ said Bethan.
‘I still remember how proud my family were and how at the age of 10 I felt embarrassed that Mom kept telling everyone “my baby can walk!”
‘That’s why I’m walking independently across that finish line, just as I did almost 12 years ago into the arms of my Mom.’
Becky, who is a physiotherapy assistant at National Star, has run 19 marathons since 2012 but admits that running with a wheelchair will make this one the most challenging.
But Bethan’s cause resonated with both Becky and her National Star colleague Andy Woolway.
Becky’s husband died from motor neurone disease in 2000 while Andy’s dad has MND.
The physiotherapy team have been working closely with Bethan as she has been training for her big moment. Bethan has been training on the treadmill and increasing the distances she walks.
‘When Bethan said she really wanted to do a marathon and when I learned that her mother had MND then I decided I would take part with Bethan so that her dream could come true.’
All three aim to compete the marathon in six hours or under. Becky and Andy will take turns pushing Bethan’s chair as they run. The chair, worth £5,000, has been loaned to the trio by Recare Ltd in Oxford.
Find out how our physiotherapy team offer a range of specialist programmes that are tailored to the physical health needs of learners.