Lauren Pollard, from Ipswich, loses 6st 2lb and will run London Marathon despite MS diagnosis
PUBLISHED: 12:36 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:58 03 April 2017
An Ipswich woman who suffers from a debilitating condition has found the strength to lose more than six stone and is ready to run a marathon in memory of her mother.
Lauren Pollard has dropped four dress sizes since Christmas 2015 despite living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease which affects the nervous system and can cause extreme fatigue.
The 26-year-old is a member of the Copleston Slimming World group, and on April 23 she will represent the organisation in the London Marathon as part of its national team of 11 slimmers, who between them have lost more than 73st.
The team is running to raise money for Cancer Research UK, and is aiming to increase awareness of how keeping a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing some types of cancer.
The cause is close to Lauren’s heart as she was just three years old when she lost her mother to breast cancer.
She said: “I can’t believe how far I’ve come in the past year and a half and all the incredible changes I’ve made.
“I’ve really found a love for running and I can’t believe I’m now going to be running the big one this year – my dream – the London Marathon.
“I can’t wait for the atmosphere on race day and to cross that finish line. Achieving this lifelong ambition would never have been possible before losing weight.
“I‘m excited to give something back and raise money for Cancer Research UK. To be able to run the London Marathon and do it in memory of my mum will be very special for my entire family.”
Before joining Slimming World, Lauren weighed 16st 12lb, was a size 20-22 and felt too tired to be active due to her illness.
She began following a healthy eating and exercise plan, and has since completed a 10k race and a half marathon.
Now Lauren weighs 10st 10lb and is a size 10-12.
Slimming World consultant Sally Neal, who runs Lauren’s weekly sessions, said: “Lauren is a real inspiration to us all and we are so proud of her.
“When she first came through the door she just wanted to lose weight – she had no idea what a huge transformation she was about to begin and certainly no idea that she would one day be running the London Marathon, it’s incredible.”
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• Will you be cheering on the runners at this year’s London Marathon? Then check our best places to watch guide here.