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33-year-old Swaffham man Charlie Gunner to run London Marathon for Muscular Dystrophy as older sister Robyn suffers from disease

A man is gearing up to take part in a marathon to raise money for a charity supporting people with the same genetic condition as his sister.

There are just weeks to go until Charlie Gunner, a 33-year-old from Swaffham, sets off at the London Marathon to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy (MD), a condition that his older sister Robyn Gunner has had since she was 17.

Aiming to raise £2,000, the father-of-two has been training for months to complete the 26.2-mile challenge.

Charlie and his son Elliott
Charlie and his son Elliott

“I am so incredibly proud of him,” Robyn said.

“I am slightly worried that he’ll do himself an injury and I am gutted that I can’t be there to watch him but him doing this means so much to me.”

Robyn, who is now 38, received a full diagnosis of the condition at the age of 22, and over time, her muscles have gradually weakened, leading to an increased level of disability.

“I have to use a hoist and I now have a catheter,” she added.

Some types of MDs eventually affect the heart or the muscles used for breathing, at which point the condition becomes life-threatening - there is no cure, but treatment can help to manage many of the symptoms.

By running the marathon, Charlie hopes that not only will he be able to raise money, but also shine a spotlight on the the condition, as Robyn says there is not much awareness of it.

Robyn with mum Diane and daughter Chloe
Robyn with mum Diane and daughter Chloe

“Until I was diagnosed, I didn’t know much about it,” she said.

“There are different types and each affects you differently, mine, in particular, affects your shoulder muscles.”

On his JustGiving page, Charlie said: “It’s a horrible disease and it comes in many forms which most people don’t know about, including myself before my sister got diagnosed.

“If I can help raise money for research and support for the 110,000 children and adult sufferers by running this, then I know I’ve done my sister proud.”

Donations to Charlie’s fundraising page can be made here.

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