Stourbridge runner will complete eight half-marathons in eight weeks for charity

Leanne Lillywhite with James Sutton after his race in Dorking.

Leanne Lillywhite with James Sutton after his race in Dorking.

First published in News

A STOURBRIDGE man will complete eight-half marathons to fund research into a rare lung disease that his fiancée was diagnosed with earlier this year.

James Sutton, aged 31, was determined to do something after his partner Leanne Lillywhite, aged 30, was told she had one of the world’s rarest diseases, Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, commonly known as LAM.

The condition, which occurs only in women, causes severe breathing problems, frequent collapsed lungs and Miss Lillywhite will most likely need a lung transplant every 10-15 years.

There is currently no cure and very little research due to the rarity of the condition, which now affects around 200 women in the UK.

Mr Sutton, a member of Stourbridge Running Club, decided to raise funds by completing eight half-marathons in eight weeks.

The financial advisor for MLM Financial in Shrewsbury, began his challenge in Wolverhampton on September 1 and spent his birthday on September 8 running through the hills of Dorking.

By mid-October he will have run 104.8 miles at events in Snowdonia, Northants, Weston super Mare, Cardiff, Oxford and Birmingham but he has already raised £2,560 for LAM Action, a charity that funds research and drug trials in the hope of finding a cure for the disease.

Mr Sutton, who plans to marry Miss Lillywhite in June, said: “The thought of how generous and kind everyone has been so far with their donations is what keeps me going when the going gets tough.

“Leanne and I are genuinely overwhelmed with the level of donations so far, and want to say a big thank you to all our supporters.”

Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/Leanne-Lillywhite1.

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