A WOMAN from Caernarfon ran the London Marathon last weekend and raised thousands for an epilepsy charity which has supported her two children in doing so.

Catrin Jones, 26, ran the marathon on Sunday (April 21) for Epilepsy Action – both of her children, five-year-old Esmi and three-year-old Nanw, have been diagnosed with epilepsy.

Running her first marathon, and joined by her husband, Matthew, Catrin has surpassed her £2,000 target by raising £2,500 for the charity - www.justgiving.com/page/catrinjones28.

Matthew, meanwhile, has raised £1,875 for Brain Research UK – 2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/matthew-jones-d435a.


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North Wales Chronicle: Matthew and Catrin after completing the London MarathonMatthew and Catrin after completing the London Marathon (Image: Catrin Jones)

Cheered on in London by her friends and family, Catrin completed the marathon in a time of roughly five hours (and a moving time of about four-and-a-half hours).

She said: “Matthew’s hamstring went at 16 miles, so he found it very hard after that, but I stayed with him and we both still completed it!

“I got into running to do this. I won’t stop running now – I’d definitely do the London Marathon again, the atmosphere was amazing. I was having the time of my life; the miles flew by.

“I’m still quite fatigued, but I went for another 5k on Wednesday night – I’ve got obsessed with running; I can’t stop now!”

Epilepsy affects about one in every 100 people in the UK; and 79 people are diagnosed with the condition every day on average.

Epilepsy Action works to improve the lives of those diagnosed with it by campaigning for better services and raising awareness of it.

North Wales Chronicle: Catrin and Matthew running the marathonCatrin and Matthew running the marathon (Image: Catrin Jones)

When Esmi was two years old, Catrin noticed her having “episodes”, which proved to be seizures, something Nanw also started to experience at the same age.

While they both have fewer seizures now, thanks to their medication, Catrin and her family still have to navigate many of the challenges of living with epilepsy.

Catrin expressed her gratitude for the support it has shown her family, having had no prior experience or understanding of epilepsy.

She added: “It impacts us in lots of ways. They need constant supervision, and there are some things they can’t do that other children can.

“They can’t go up a slide on their own without someone following them behind them, for example, and they can get quite tired.

“Initially, when they were diagnosed, Epilepsy Action guided us with ways of getting support and information about the condition.

“We had no understanding about it prior to their diagnoses, because we no had past experience of epilepsy in the family.

“They had talk and support groups, as well, so we had more understanding of what was available to help the girls.

“There was a time when we couldn’t get the correct dose of medication, and they helped us with sorting that out. They’ve helped us a lot.”

Epilepsy Action provides a national network of support groups, with expert advice available on its freephone helpline 0808 800 5050.

Katie Reah, fundraising events and community manager at Epilepsy Action, added: “Each year, the Team Epilepsy Action runners at the London Marathon blow us away with their dedication to taking on this huge challenge.

“Catrin, Esmi and Nanw’s story is a reminder of why we continue to do the work we do: to be here to support families when they need us most.”