Sarah Frow running the Pilgrim’s Way challenge to raise money for the University of Kent Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy Photo: Sarah Frow – University of Kent

Sarah Frow, a fitness instructor at Kent’s Parkinson’s Centre for Integrated Therapy (PCIT) who lives with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease, has raised over £28,000 for the Centre by taking part in a six-day ultra marathon.

Sarah, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease two years ago (aged only 44), took on the Pilgrim’s Way journey from Winchester to Canterbury – an ancient pilgrimage route of over 140 miles. Beginning her journey on Monday 27 May, Sarah ran approximately 20-30 miles a day for six days, concluding her run on Saturday 1 June at the University’s Canterbury campus where the PCIT is based.

Sarah and her friend Steve Howard, have raised over £28,000 so far which will make a vital difference to the service that the Parkinson’s centre can offer to its members.

PCIT is a unique treatment, education and research centre offering tailored non-drug therapies for Parkinson’s Disease. Exercise therapy sits at the heart of the centre given its proven benefits for mental and physical well-being and for slowing aspects of disease progression. Sarah’s incredible effort brings welcome highlight to these benefits.

Sarah and Steve were joined by friends, family and University of Kent alumni at different intervals of the Pilgrim’s Way journey. At the end of the journey, each runner received a medal and Sarah was presented with a special trophy for her remarkable achievement.

Sarah Frow at the end of her Pilgrim’s Way marathon outside the PCIT

Reflecting on her experience, Sarah emphasises the importance of staying active and positive when living with Parkinson’s. She said:

‘I’m so grateful my body held up. This challenge proves that Parkinson’s can be tackled with an athlete’s mindset. I choose not to be defined by this disease and I hope this accomplishment shows others, especially those newly diagnosed, that life doesn’t end with Parkinson’s. Exercise is key and surrounding yourself with friends is vital for the soul. Find what you love, keep training your body and mind, and don’t wait for symptoms – be proactive!’

Professor David Wilkinson, Director of PCIT, said:

‘The PCIT community extends their deepest gratitude to Sarah, Steve and those who supported them on their journey. The money raised will make a remarkable difference to the support that the Centre can give to its members. Sarah’s determination to embrace this challenge with such a positive attitude and outlook has been truly inspiring to all of us.’

To learn more about Sarah’s challenge and to sponsor her, please visit Sarah’s JustGiving page.

By Ed

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