After supporting her brave sister’s battle against a rare medical condition Kate Couchman decided she needed to do something special.
And that something is taking on three of the UK’s most gruelling challenges to raise funds and heighten awareness of the little-known issue.
Kate’s sister Meg was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a condition which affects the muscles in her throat making it difficult for her to eat or speak, when she was just 15.
Meg is now 25, and has recently been re-admitted to hospital for treatment. Her lifelong dream of having children also lies in the balance, as rounds of chemotherapy treatment may have affected her fertility.
Kate recently moved from South Africa to the UK and works at the Solgar vitamin and food supplement group in Tring.
Her sister still lives in South Africa, and has to take medication every four hours.
Although she is still working, sometimes she cannot make it though the day due to her condition.
Kate is determined to help in any way she can, and will take on the Three Peaks, Thames Path 100km and Grand Union walking challenges this year.
She said: “I feel so useless being here. I want to raise as much awareness as possible so I am doing something that I will find very gruelling.
“If I went skydiving or something that’s just fun, that would not push me to the limit and I wouldn’t feel right about asking people to donate money.”
Sometimes it can take hours for Meg to be able to swallow her medication because of the condition.
Kate hopes the money she raises will be able to help fund research into drugs that can be administered through a drip.
To sponsor Kate visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/KateCouchman. To find out more about myasthenia gravis visit www.mga-charity.org.