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We are absolutely delighted to announce that Jemma, PA to our MD Martin Rothwell, and her friend Lizzie, successfully finished the London Marathon on April 13th. So far they have raised over £5000 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and about £2500 for local Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis charities here in the South West.

But it nearly didn’t happen.

Lizzie suffers from Crohn’s disease a chronic, lifelong condition that can affect the entire digestive system. It’s a condition that can be managed with diet and lifestyle, but can often require the use of steroids to combat flare ups. There is no ‘cure’. In the very worst cases a part of the digestive system that is affected with ulcers has to be removed with surgery.  Whilst Lizzie’s condition is in the early stages it is a remarkable feat that she was able to run at all, never mind 26.2 miles.

However, Jemma wasn’t without her problems either.  It was only 8 days before the marathon that Jemma was given the all clear by doctors to run at all following stress fractures in both her hip and ankle that put a stop to her training. Even though she was able to swim and go to the gym. between the end of January and the beginning of April Jemma only managed 3 training runs!

But, of course, being the troopers they are, and despite the setbacks, both Lizzie and Jemma finished the course in 4 hours and 56 minutes, running together all the way.

Jemma said, “The best thing about doing it was the crowd. We had our names on our shirts and everyone cheered us on, called out or names and clapped as we went past. It really helped to keep us going.”

But would she do it again?

“It was one of those things I always wanted to do. My son asked me if I’d do it again five minutes after I had finished and I replied that I wouldn’t. But now that the pain has gone away and I am feeling great again, I think I probably would. I loved it.”

Here at World First we are especially proud of them both and hope that they will continue to run together, raising money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK, the UK's leading Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) charity, as they do so. Lizzie is not alone in suffering from Crohn’s disease, as around 260,000 people – many of them young – are also affected in the UK. In fact, many of our customers suffer from IBD. They come to us for their travel insurance as they are able to travel but find it hard to get travel insurance cover elsewhere.

If you would like to add to their fantastic total, please CLICK HERE to go to their Just Giving page.

If you have Crohn’s or UC and would like a quote for your travel insurance, see our Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis page HERE.

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