Marathon challenge to show support for osteoporosis charity

Rebecca Howells
Rebecca Howells

A woman from Turners Hill is set to take part in the Virgin London Marathon later this year - a challenge she says is ‘of ‘great importance, both personally and professionally’.

Rebecca Howells, who is an orthopaedic nurse, will take on the fundraising race in April.

Rebecca said: “I badly fractured my leg in December 2015 which necessitated four hours in surgery while the consultant pinned and plated my ‘jigsaw puzzle’ of a left lower leg - his words, not mine.

“Sadly this has not been my only fracture, although it has been the worst by far. I have osteopenia which is a condition that causes a low bone density. Unfortunately, the chance of me developing osteoporosis in the future is high.

“I am also an orthopaedic nurse and have cared for, for many years, people who have suffered fractures as a result of osteoporosis. The pain and discomfort, not to mention the loss of confidence and independence, can be devastating. I witnessed these changes too in my own family member due to her having osteoporosis.

“I am currently the hip fracture specialist nurse for East Surrey Hospital and we admit more than 500 patients a year who have suffered a hip fracture. All of them are either treated or investigated for osteoporosis. For older people hip fracture is the commonest cause of accidental death.

“I knew I wanted to do something to make a difference and so I wanted to support the work of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS).

“After watching this year’s London Marathon, as I do most years, I knew that that was what I was going to do. It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.

“I made contact with the NOS and put my name forward for one of their places. I was lucky enough to find out I had been accepted at the end of May.

“I was not able to walk properly until April and I am now going to be running the Virgin London Marathon in 2017 for the National Osteoporosis Society!”

The National Osteoporosis Society are the only UK wide charity dedicated to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and fragility fractures.

The charity offers free support and information to people affected by the condition.

Osteoporosis leads to nearly nine million fractures annually worldwide and over 500,000 patients present with fragility fractures to hospitals in the UK each year.

One of the National Osteoporosis Society’s most important roles is the provision of a specialist helpline which receives more than 13,000 enquiries a year.

This, and the other good work of the charity, could not continue without vital support from the public.

Rebecca continued: “My fundraising target for the VLM is £1,700. I am now getting out into the open air with parkruns and road training alongside my gym work, and am ready to take on some organised timed events. I am truly enjoying running and I look forward to the marathon with nervous excitement.”

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