Immunology patient runs six half marathons to raise money


Nichola Parkes was diagnosed with common variable immunodeficiency at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham after struggling for ten years with no diagnosis and now she has decided to raise money for the staff that helped her.

After being passed from doctor to doctor for ten years, she was finally referred to QEHB when an infection was found in her lungs.

Nichola said: “I was undiagnosed for ten years but when I was referred to the QE, Dr Richter found the problem and from day one it was great. I knew that if I was going to raise money for the department it was going to do some good.”

To raise money Nichola took on the incredible challenge of running six half marathons throughout a year and also taking part in smaller runs alongside them every month. Due to her condition, she has to take breaks and struggles to complete a full day so this was really a huge challenge for her but she was supported the whole way.

Since 2013 she has been a patient at QEHB and she said: “I owe it all to Dr Richter, without hers and the hospitals expertise I would still be ill.”

Her doctor, Dr Alex Richter, said: “Nichola is inspirational. When I first met her she had been off work for a period of time as she just wasn’t well enough with recurrent infections.

“We diagnosed her with common variable immunodeficiency and got her started on treatment and she has never looked back. It has been wonderful to see her grow in confidence and now not only is she back in work full time but running regular half marathons.”

Nichola raised an amazing £1,381.25 from taking part in the half marathons which took place in Ironbridge, Stafford, Blackpool, Liverpool, Cardiff and finally finishing in Birmingham.

Talking about the money raised, Dr Richter said: “We are hugely grateful for the money she has raised for the department and hope to use this and Nichola’s story to help other newly diagnosed patients who find it difficult to see past the next course of antibiotics. Congratulations!”

The money raised will help fund 'added extras' for the Immunology Department to help other patients just like Nichola. Donations like this can help the hospital charity go over and above what the NHS can fund for staff, patients and families. 

If you have been inspired by Nichola’s story, why don’t you sign up for one of our events this year, you can find out more about our events by clicking here.

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