Last Sunday, a group of over 300 West Midlands police officers, family and friends flocked to Liverpool to take part in the half and full marathon to raise funds and awareness for MNDA and Primrose Hospice - two charities supporting former Assistant Chief Constable Chris Johnson and his family following Chris’ Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis in 2018.
We met Chris’ wife Sharon (pictured below) and friend Kristal at The National Running Show in Birmingham last January where we were incredibly moved by their story and have followed the journey of this truly inspirational group ever since.
Chris, father of two, had always been fully fit and had only ever had two sick days off in his whole career before the disease struck. After 30 years in the force, Chris sadly retired from his post last September after previously continuing to work through the disease.
Since Chris’ diagnosis, the #WMPMND group have worked tirelessly to raise as much money as possible to be divided equally between MNDA and Primrose Hospice and to date they have raised over £45,000.
The race in Liverpool was their main fundraising event (originally devised by DS Trudy Grittins) - and with the majority of the group previously being non-runners, it was a huge achievement for so many.
Congratulations to Sharon for completing her first half marathon distance at the event, which she has achieved in a milestone birthday year.
“MND is the cruelest of diseases but we have met some fantastic people along the way and are continuing to make memories.
It is getting much harder but we are staying positive. Chris is in a wheelchair full time now. His legs just don’t work anymore and his arms are slowly giving up. He is on non-invasive ventilation 24/7 now but he continues to do a bit of work via Zoom and remains the same as he always has.
It will be three years this November since diagnosis and we celebrate every year and look forward to the next!”
Please visit the #WMPMND fundraising page here.