A SOLICITOR is running two long distance events to raise money to help fight a rare medical condition.
Ian Barnes, 28, who works at Allington Hughes solicitors in Wrexham, is taking part in the Silverstone Half Marathon on Sunday at the Silverstone motor racing circuit, and the London Marathon in April, to raise money for the A-T Society (Ataxia-Telangiectasia).
A-T is a progressive genetic condition which causes severe disability and shortens lives.
Children born with the A-T gene appear healthy until they are about two to three-years-old when their balance starts to fail.
The condition was brought to Mr Barnes’ attention two years ago when his friend and colleague, Emma Simoes, found out her two-year-old twin nephews had been diagnosed with the condition.
Mr Barnes, who lives in Rhosrobin, said: “I decided to do it in November last year.
"Someone said they were doing a skydive and I said I’d do a marathon.
“I’ve never really done much running before.
“The A-T Society provides a lot of services for families who find out their children have got the condition.
“My colleague’s family was put in touch with them and after that they seemed to look at things with a more positive outlook.
“Effectively, A-T causes problems with balance and movement and by the time they get to 10, children with the condition are unable to walk unassisted and are normally in a wheelchair.
“It also makes them more succeptible to cancer and other diseases.
“Unfortunately by the time they’re 18, many people with the condition die.”
Mr Barnes has so far raised about £700 through sponsorship and is hoping to raise £3,000 in total for the A-T Society.
He said: “I’m raising money with the aim of ploughing money back into research about the condition to find better treatments and hopefully a cure.
“To be fair, people have been generous.
“I’m up to £500 online and I’ve raised another £200 through work.”
He added: “I’ve been training since November and running every week.”
Anybody who would like to sponsor Mr Barnes should go online to uk.virginmoneygiving. com/IanBarnes-LondonMarathon 2013