'Motor neurone disease won't stop me doing Great Manchester Run'

Vivienne Copeland will tackle the Great Manchester Run in a wheelchair

Vivienne Copeland will tackle the Great Manchester Run in a wheelchair

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A MOTHER from Holcombe Brook who suffers from motor neurone disease will compete in the Great Manchester Run — by being pushed in her wheelchair by her son and a friend.

Vivienne Copeland has suffered from the debilitating condition for seven years, and hopes to raise £2,000 to fund research into the disease.

She will be pushed around the 10 kilometre course by her son, Tom Robertshaw, who now lives in London, and her friend Lesley Courtney Smith, who she has known for a number of years through their children.

Vivienne lives with her husband, John, also aged 60, in Summerseat Lane, Holcombe Brook.

They moved to a bungalow shortly before she was diagnosed with the disease, and have had a wet room created.

Motor Neurone Disease is progressive condition that attacks the nerves which operate muscles and control movement.

Vivienne, who also has a 35-year-old son called Matthew and two stepchildren named Simon and Jenny, says the disease has left her with a failing body, while she is still able to think and feel.

She said: “I had to give up work as a nurse, at first I walked with a stick and now I am in a wheelchair. It also affects my speech and my swallowing muscles.

“But I still try to live life to the full, you can’t let it get you down.”

Vivienne’s brother, Stephen, works for a healthcare company, which has paid for a made-to-measure wheelchair especially for the event, which will make it easier for Tom and Lesley to push her.

She said: “I wanted to raise money to research the disease, and Lesley came up with the idea and said she would push me, and Tom then said he would do as well.

“Lesley and I have done a couple of practice runs, but the pavements are not very flat so it should hopefully be easier on the day.”

There is currently no cure for the disease, and Vivienne is raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, a charity which supports and campaigns for people suffering with the disease.

To donate, visit justgiving.com/Viv-Copeland

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