Laura beats back injury to raise thousands for MS Society in Ayrshire
07th January 2010
Glasgow architect Laura James has helped raise over £13,000 for the MS Society in Ayrshire and Arran by completing the New York City Marathon – despite suffering serious injuries in a car crash just three months before.
The accident left the 27-year-old in a wheelchair for a week and she was only able to start running again three weeks before the big race.
But the thought of pulling out was never an option. “After the accident, I was lying in A&E shouting I’ve got a marathon to run!’ says Laura who works for the Glasgow office of design and engineering specialist Morgan Professional Services, based at the Glasgow Airport Business Park, Paisley. “The doctors said I’d be lucky to be walking by then.” With torn muscles in her lower back, severe internal bruising and nerve damage, she had just three months to get herself fit enough for the marathon – her first.
“After the accident, I was lying in A&E shouting I’ve got a marathon to run!”
Laura James, Architect
Incredibly, Laura succeeded in completing the marathon which she ran with friend Laura Robertson, 26, who is an aircraft engineer. Together the two runners, who both live in Mauchline, East Ayrshire, have raised £13,000 for the Ayrshire and Arran branch of the MS Society Scotland which provides care and support services for local people with MS and their families.
“After the accident, I had weekly physiotherapy but the focus was on just getting me walking again,” says Laura James. “They didn’t let me go running outside until three weeks before the actual race and the most I could run then was four miles.
“I thought I would be lucky to get to ten miles in New York. After running the first four miles, I jogged for eight minutes and walked for two minutes and got to 20 miles like that. After then, I walked more than I jogged, but I still finished in five hours and 33 minutes.”
“We are obviously very grateful to the two Lauras and in particular to their many supporters in the area without whom this tremendous effort wouldn’t have been possible. To raise so much beyond their original target, is first-class. Not only is it a great personal achievement for them but it will provide much-appreciated practical help to many people with MS and their families in Ayrshire.”
Donald McNeill, Chair of the Ayrshire and Arran branch of the MS Society Scotland
The spectacular effort has seen the pair far outstrip the fundraising goal they set themselves. “We chose this charity because a friend of my mum has MS. She put us in contact with the Ayrshire & Arran branch of the MS Society Scotland,” says Laura James. “Our fundraising target was originally £7,000 but we’ve been able to nearly double that with lots of help from family, friends and the people I work with at Morgan Sindall Professional Services.”
The Ayrshire and Arran branch of the MS Society Scotland has 400 members. The organisation receives no government grants and is entirely run by volunteers.