Son inspires mum to run London Marathon

Jane Van Der Zwart with her family after running the London Marathon

Jane Van Der Zwart with her family after running the London Marathon

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A MUM raised nearly £1,500 for charity after being inspired to take part in the London Marathon by her nine-year-old son.

Jane Van Der Zwart laced up her running shoes to raise money for Arthritis Research UK to help her son Alex.

He was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis when he was two and half years old after experiencing painful and swollen joints.

Despite his condition Alex plays in a football team and enjoys tennis every week - but because one of his symptoms is extreme tiredness and fatigue, he is limited to how much he can do.

Alex is one of an estimated 15,000 children in the UK affected by arthritis and requires treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital every six weeks.

Determined to help make a difference his mum decided to enter the London Marathon and raise money to help finance the research campaign against the condition.

She completed the 26 mile course in 4h31m34s, raising £1,460 in the process.

Mrs Van Der Zwart said: "People don’t understand much about JIA, so I really want people to be more aware that children can get arthritis as well. It is essential that we raise more awareness of this condition and that more research is done.

"When Alex visits the hospital he has an Infliximab infusion which takes around four hours and usually means we are at the hospital all day. He also has to take eye drops daily in both eyes.

"Arthritis Research UK funds important research into juvenile arthritis which can make a real difference to children like Alex."

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