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For my 50th birthday challenge, I have been inspired by the work of Facing Africa Noma to take part in the Marathon des Sables.

Debbie Simpson 052I want to raise awareness of what the charity is accomplishing and I hope to raise sufficient funds to help at least 10 children regain the chance to lead a normal life after the devastating effects of this terrible disease.

Always keen for a challenge, in 2004 I joined a group from the Marlborough running club to run 195 miles in 7 days across England on the Wainwright coast to coast route. We were raising money for Macmillan Cancer Relief and it was without doubt my sponsorship that kept me going when I sometimes felt like giving up.

Over the years I’ve enjoyed testing myself in a variety of running and biking events including marathons and adventure races. In 2010 after completing the Jungfrau marathon I attempted in the same week to climb Mont Blanc.

I live in Wiltshire on the edge of the Marlborough Downs with my four children aged 13 to 22 and our lively Belgian Shepherd, my training partner! I combine my lifelong love of sport and fitness with my career as a physiotherapist and pilates instructor.

I know that participation in the MdS will test me to my limits both physically and mentally but the donations made on my behalf will make the hardships worthwhile. I’m extremely grateful to my friends whose local business Sarsen Technology has pledged to double my fundraising total up to 5000. Their generous offer has enabled me to aim for a target of 10,000.

‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.’ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Please help me to achieve my goal for Facing Africa Noma…


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