An Alford fitness instructor will take on the challenge of a lifetime next month as she runs the London Marathon in support of her sister, who is battling against leukaemia.
Emma Coffey, 32, will rise to the occasion on the last Sunday in April, when she will take on the gruelling 26.2 mile task through the capital city.
Emma, who owns ‘The Studio’ which provides fitness classes in Alford, has already raised an incredible £2,1000 for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan, thanks to more than 70 donations from her friends and students over the past year.
She was inspired to support the charity after her 26-year-old sister, Sophie Mason, was diagnosed with leukaemia two years ago.
Emma told the Leader: “Sophie was diagnosed in Feb 2014 after a routine blood test to find out why she felt poorly all the time and suffered irregular bruising.
“She has been lucky because she ticked all the boxes to take part in a medical trial, and she’s healthy at the moment, But she is still a carrier and it could return, so she has regular blood tests.
“You don’t realise how real it is until something like this happens to someone close to you. It’s very difficult to say it.
“As someone who is lucky enough to be able-bodied and healthy, I feel it’s important for me to give something back.
“Sophie has been lucky, and it shows that you can’t take life for granted.”
Emma explained that she has wanted to take part in the London Marathon ever since she was a child and had hoped to take part in last year’s London Marathon - but was advised not to take part after she suffered a slipped disc, which kept her out of work and fitness activity for six months.
However, following three months of rehabilitation, Emma was able to start training again in January.
Emma said: “I’m not naturally a runner, so I’ve been taking it slow and steady. This week I’ll be doing a 15 mile run which is my longest so far.”
Monthly raffles have been held at The Studio in Alford, in addition to pamper parties and coffee mornings both at work and in the town.
Emma said: “I’ve been overwhelmed with the support I’ve received, it’s been phenomenal. Not just thanks to those who have donated, but also those who have given me credit and praise.
“I’m constantly exhausted but I’m really excited - and if other people are thinking of doing a marathon, I’d encourage them to give it a go.”
• To make a donation towards Emma’s challenge, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaAddison1.