Four good reasons to find an MD cure...

Adam Smith

Adam Smith

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

When Adam Smith laces up his shoes to pound the streets of Oxford in the annual Town & Gown race, several people will be on his mind.

Mr Smith, 39, a lawyer from Oxford, has seen not just one but four family members affected by a form of muscular dystrophy.

Since the launch of the Oxford Town & Gown, runners have raised more than £1m for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

Mr Smith’s mother, Janet, died in 2010 aged 77 of myotonic dystrophy, while his uncle, John Bushnell, died of the condition in the late 1990s.

His cousin, Christopher Bushnell, also had the condition and his brother Doug, 42, who lives in Stamford, Lincolnshire, is also affected by it.

Mr Smith said: “It’s something I have lived with for most of my life and I think it is important to give something back.

“One of the things Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is trying to do is not just help with the symptoms and help people in their daily lives but also look to find a cure, and a lot of that work is going on in Oxford itself.

“It’s something I really want to support.”

He took part in the Town & Gown for the first time last year, finishing in 50 minutes and 26 seconds and raising £1,600 for the cause.

As well as running the 10km race again on Sunday, May 13, he will also be running the inaugural Cambridge Town & Gown at the weekend.

He hopes to finish both in under 50 minutes.

Mr Smith was tested in his teens to find out if he had the condition and has two healthy children, Dan, six, and Louis, three.

He said the debilitating progressive disease ran in the family.

He said: “It came from my maternal grandmother, but no-one ever realised she had it. My mum survived until her 70s but her brother, John, had it much worse and died much younger.

“Doug also has it very badly.

“There is a 50:50 chance of inheriting it so we had various tests when we had the kids but we know I don’t have it and won’t pass it on to them.

“It’s difficult to watch the disease progress but when you live with it day to day, it’s almost normal.”

To join the run, fill in the form, email events@muscular-dystrophy.org or call 020 78034820.

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