A COVENTRY mum will run a marathon to fundraise for the blind, in memory of her fiancé who died last year.
Kelly McGuire, 30, is training to run the London marathon in April for Team RNIB in memory of her fiancé, James Harrison, who died in August 2019.
James was diagnosed with the extremely rare autoimmune disease Macrophage Activation Syndrome, which was coupled with Adult Onset Still’s disease.
The disease initially caused James to lose his sight, and he was adamant that sight loss would not define him.
He was also determined to raise money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind once he left hospital.
Shortly after losing his sight, the disease started to cause organ failure and he died on August 1 2019.
James’ determination to raise money for charity has led Kelly, along with her brother in law Stephen, to sign up for the London Marathon and honour his wishes by raising money for RNIB. Together, Kelly and Stephen are aiming to raise £5,000 between them and have already raised over £2,000.
In addition to their London Marathon mission, Kelly and Stephen have been fundraising for RNIB since James died and have already raised over £8,500 for the charity.
The money they raise will help RNIB’s work in breaking down barriers that still exist in society for blind and partially sighted people.
Kelly said: “When James lost his sight, I had no idea where to turn and came across RNIB simply by looking on the internet. I know we would have relied on them heavily had James recovered from his illness, and it was comforting to know there was someone to turn to for support.
“Both mine and Stephen’s families will be coming down on the day, including my two children. By sharing James’ story, we hope to continue James’ wishes of helping other people.”
Lizzi Wagner from the RNIB, said: “We are delighted to have Kelly as part of Team RNIB for this year’s London Marathon. Running in memory of her fiancée is a fantastic legacy for James, and I’m sure his whole family are incredibly proud of both her and Stephen.
“Please dig deep and support their fundraising efforts and help us reach our ambitious target of £230,000.”
Kelly is hoping to boost her fundraising total further by holding a charity event at Radford Social Club in Coventry on Friday 10 April. The event starts at 6pm, and will include children’s entertainment, live music, raffles and competitions.
Donations can be made via justgiving.com/crowdfunding/doingitforjames.