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Cornard man striving to overcome adversity with series of charity runs




Mark Nixon, who suffers from functional neurological disorder, is preparing for a series of runs and marathons, to raise money for Cancer Research UK PICTURE: Mecha Morton (2243334)
Mark Nixon, who suffers from functional neurological disorder, is preparing for a series of runs and marathons, to raise money for Cancer Research UK PICTURE: Mecha Morton (2243334)

A Great Cornard man, who is dealing with a debilitating neurological condition, hopes success in a series of upcoming fundraising runs will show people they can overcome any adversity.

Mark Nixon, 35, of Shelley Avenue, has started a personal challenge of completing a sequence of half-marathons and long-distance events, aiming to raise thousands in support of Cancer Research UK.

He was inspired by a number of family members and friends who have either had the disease or lost their lives to it.

They include his mother, who is a survivor of breast cancer, and a very close friend, who was recently given a diagnosis of cancer.

Mr Nixon, who works for a mental health support group called Time To Talk, said the challenge is made extra difficult by his struggles with a condition called functional neurological disorder (FND), which causes symptoms such as weakness, movement disorders, sensory problems and blackouts.

“I know a lot of people who have had cancer, so it’s something very close to my heart,” he said.

“It’s quite a daunting challenge, and it’s made even more challenging because of my condition.

“Basically, it means my brain does not send signals to my body properly. I could have a seizure at any time.

“It makes it that much harder. I have had to learn how to manage it.”

So far, Mr Nixon, who is also a family carer for his partner, who has mental health issues, has completed the Colchester 10km run and the Colchester Stampede.

Through his training regime, he has also shed three stone in weight.

His next challenge will be on Sunday, June 10, when he will race a steam train, aiming to run 11 miles in 90 minutes.

He will then participate in the Sudbury Triathlon on Sunday, June 17, and the Nayland 10km run on Sunday, July 1, followed by a charity quiz night at The Brook in Great Cornard.

Finally, he will take part in a 24-hour sponsored walk in Great Cornard, between on July 7 and 8.

“I’m excited and nervous about it, especially the steam train run,” he said.

“I’m also quite excited by the triathlon because I have not done one before.

“My thinking is, if I can overcome this, anyone can overcome anything.”

To donate towards Mr Nixon’s cause, go online to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-nixon24.



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