Ten years after a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), Jules Cooper still has no intention of letting the disease hold her back.
She will aim to complete her first London Marathon next month, not only to raise money and awareness for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust, but also to inspire people that they can stay active and motivated, regardless of any medical condition they may be affected by.
A long-time runner and fitness enthusiast, Jules, of Great Cornard, explained her exercising initially “took a bit of a nosedive” when she first heard she had MS, a neurological condition which can cause visual problems, sensory issues and motor co-ordination difficulties.
“After a while, I just thought that it’s not going away and life is too short,” she told the Free Press.
“There’s no point in being miserable about it. You just need to get on with life and enjoy it.”
Jules has since completed numerous marathons, most recently finishing the half marathon at the Bury St Edmunds Running Festival last year, with a time of two hours and 40 minutes.
She will be running the annual Sudbury Fun Run with her grandson tomorrow morning, as part of her preparations for her first London Marathon, which takes place on April 22.
After posting a personal video on Facebook about her story, Jules received a large groundswell of donations and has now raised almost £2,000 for the MS Trust, which she praised for giving her great support since her diagnosis.
She also credited the Sudbury Joggers, a group based at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre that she joined about a year ago, for helping to encourage and motivate her with her running.
“It’s amazing, because everyone has their own struggles,” she said.
“It gives you extra motivation, because you are running with like-minded people and everyone has been so positive and so supportive.
“I’m a true believer that if I didn’t exercise, it would be a lot worse for me. Not everyone can do running, but everyone can exercise.
“Even people who don’t have a condition, they can see that I can do it, and they can be inspired.
“I just want to inspire people and raise money and awareness at the same time.”
To donate to her cause, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jules-cooper1