A local woman is taking on a year-long running challenge to raise money for a charity which supports people with a rare condition.
Victoria Goldsmith, from St Leonards, was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition as a child called IIH (idiopathic intercranial hypertension).
She explained: “Running was where they first established a problem as I kept collapsing completing my cross country courses at primary school.
“I had a number of tests and was in and out of hospitals in Hastings and London as a child, being schooled mainly in hospital.
“At one point I was in a coma waking with amnesia. Over the years I have gone through a number of tests and medication trials, including 14 Lumbar Punctures.
“I never gave up hope throughout that time but I put on a lot of weight.
“A few years ago the pressure got so high in my head that I went blind as it had built up behind my eyes.
“This caused horrendous headaches on top of my daily ones and I was in hospital for a around a month.
“I was advised to loose the weight and with medication I should feel better. I regained my sight fully with only a little lasting damage a month or so later.
From this point I changed my life and lost weight and got healthier.
Victoria never gave up hope of being able to run again and despite suffering headaches, memory problems, pain and the fatigue associated with her condition, she battled through and lost more than 13 stone in weight from healthy eating and exercise and is now leading a much healthier lifestyle.
She said: “I started running nearly two years ago. When I started I couldn’t run more than 300 yards without my head pounding and being so out of breath.
“Over time I have built my fitness up and currently running around 30/40 miles a week. I find running helps my mental health as well.
“If I am having a bad day or not feeling myself, a little run can get me back on track to feeling good.
“I have decided to set myself a challenge over the course of a year to run a number of 10k, 2 half marathons and a 100k (50 mile) challenge in 2019 to raise money for the IIH charity.
“I would love to get more publicity especially as its for a rare condition that a lot of other people do not understand and I would like to raise awareness.
You can keep up with Victoria’s efforts by visiting her Instagram page lazyfattocrazyfit, which also tells more of her story.
For more on the condition and how it affects people visit www.iih.org.uk.