Fitness instructor to run marathon in honour of childhood friend

7:20am Saturday 15th March 2014

By Natalie O'Neill

An aqua-fitness instructor will run this year’s marathon in honour of a childhood friend suffering from a blood disorder.

Antonia Kurdash signed up to the London Marathon to raise money for the UK Thalassaemia Society, which supports people like her friend Androulla Andreou-Panayis, who suffers from the inherited condition.

Ms Kurdash, who lives in Manorway, said: “I remember when we were teenagers I would go with Androulla to the North Middlesex Hospital where she had her regular blood transfusions every four weeks.  

“I cannot explain how emotional it was seeing Androulla and other patients having to have their transfusions in order to survive.

“Fifty years ago there was almost no research into such a severe illness and children were not expected to survive.

"Thankfully nowadays the treatment and life expectancy have improved enormously and young people born today with the condition can look forward to full and productive lives – but they still need constant medical care and transfusions.”

Ms Kurdash is no stranger to pulling on her training shoes, running between five and ten miles every single day.

She said: “I find running a great therapy. Now I’m overwhelmed with joy I can finally contribute to my friend’s wellbeing and the Greek, Mediterranean and Indian community, who suffer from thalassaemia.”

To sponsor Ms Kurdash click here.

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