Asthmatic mum from Haverhill lost seven stone in weight and completed the Virgin London Marathon, raising over £2,000 for Asthma UK
A Haverhill mum who was spurred on to lose seven stone in weight after being 'horrified' by a photo of herself has raised thousands of pounds for charity after completing Sunday's Virgin London Marathon.
Gemma King, who has asthma, has raised an incredible £2,000 for Asthma UK, the charity which offers health advice and support through its telephone helpline for people living with asthma in the UK.
Gemma, a healthcare assistant with a four-year-old son, used to weigh 18 and a half stone and struggled to fit into a size 22.
But after seeing the unflattering picture of herself on a beach she vowed to shed the pounds.
She cut out her takeaways and fatty frozen foods, swapping them for fresh vegetables and fruit.
She teamed her new diet with running and soon found the weight slipping off.
Now she has lost so much weight Gemma wears a size 14.
Gemma, 32, said: “I never had the motivation to lose weight but when I saw the picture of me on the beach I was absolutely horrified.
“Now I’ve lost the weight I feel so much better. I can play with my son and even my asthma has cleared up.
“Running the London Marathon was an an experience of a lifetime
“The crowds gave the most amazing support and I felt phenomenal when team Asthma UK were screaming my name and giving me high-fives.”
Rachel Devereux, director of Fundraising at Asthma UK, said: “Asthma affects 5.4million people in the UK and can leave people gasping for breath.
"In some cases it can be fatal and it claims the lives of three people every day.
"That’s why our work at Asthma UK is vital, to fund research into a cure for the condition and offer health advice to help people with asthma stay well.
“We can only do this thanks to our generous fundraisers and we want to thank Gemma and all of our runners for their hard work and dedication in training for and taking on this iconic event.”
You can donate to Gemma HERE.
Asthma UK provides a nurse-staffed telephone helpline for people with asthma, advice on its website and funds over 30 research projects to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma.
Having an asthma attack is incredibly frightening, and one occurs every 10 seconds in the UK.
An attack happens when the airways start to tighten, which can leaving people coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath.
Having an asthma attack has been described as feeling like a pillow if being held over your face.