Something wonderful happened last year to Jennifer Dillon. While covid was cramping most people’s styles, she began to feel she was recovering from the M.E. that had dogged her every step for the past 10 years. Life was seeping back into her body again.
So this year, even though is taking things slowly, she will be celebrating what she hopes is a gradual recovery with a 10k run.
“Ten years ago, at the age of 20, I was diagnosed with M.E. and thought I would never be able to walk any distance again – let alone run 10k.
“Going from an incredibly sporty person to living at home with my parents and spending most of my time in bed or on the sofa was devastating. I felt like I had lost myself and spent most of the last decade grieving for my old life.”
After an M.E. crash in 2018, she very slowly started building up her walking with the support of her long-term partner and fiancé Liam McGowan.
“Then 2020 hit and I have absolutely no idea why my body allowed me to do this with – with the encouragement of Liam and my incredibly supportive and fanatical running dad.
“I put on my multi-coloured leggings and jogged 2k and then 3 and then 5 – something I never thought I would be able to do again.”
Her dad, Stewart Dillon, from St Andrew’s in Scotland, is known in the extreme sport of hill and fell-running as ‘Stoobs’. He hurtles down craggy mountain sides, gathering speed from top to bottom with seemingly ne’er a care in the world for life or limb.
But, when it comes to his daughter, a gentleness in his character shines through.
“Dad has a folder with a pacing programme for me and I’m working towards running a whole 10k and he will be pacing me on my big day.
“It will be like a walk in the park for him but for me it’s going to be a double marathon.”
Jennifer hopes to run the 10k in under one hour in St Andrew’s later in the year, her own health and those covid restrictions permitting. If you would like to support her fantastic effort, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jen-dillon
The ME Association
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