Running a half marathon for all PSP patients

by Patricia Vazquez Rodriguez on 17 October 2017


I'm a PhD student at Lucy Cavendish College and I focus on Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). PSP is a terrible neurodegenerative disease which doesn't have currently a cure.

There is still a lot of work to be done to reach a better understanding of why the brain one day "decides" to stop working properly. The brain starts to shrink so fast due to neurones lost that makes it even harder for patients and carers to deal with the fact that it is an irreversible process. So yes, a lot of work ahead... BUT there are also positive news, the research community is now working  all together and the progress we are making is giving us very good results in order to ultimately find a treatment for PSP at some point.

As a researcher, I know how expensive a project can be. For example, a MRI scan costs £800. This is actually cheap if you compare it with the £2000 a PET scan costs per patient. I could go into details but I think you just got the main message... Research is not cheap but crucial!

PSPA is an amazing organisation which does not receive enough money and they still make miracles. PSP IS NOT A RARE DISEASE. It's in fact more common than you think. The problem is that people don't know about it. PSP has cognitive and motor symptoms... it's a devastating combo...

My plan? I decided to run a half marathon in order to raise money for PSPA. I ran the 6th International Thessaloniki Night Halfmarathon on 14 October 2017 and have already raised over £1800.

I customised my running vest with the names of all the people who sponsored me. I also added Leigh's name (Dr Leigh Stoeber) because I wanted to do something special for her. I haven't been to many formals at Lucy, but Leigh was always sitting close to me when I did go. I remember her smile and good conversations with her. I'm really upset about her leaving us so I wanted to dedicate my run to her too.

My fundraising page is still open and I'd appreciate any further donations, large or small to this very important cause. Thanks in advance!

Photo of me at the finish line!