Big 100 helped me rediscover my confidence

Andy has pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE). In this blog, he tells us how taking part in the Big 100 has helped him love his lungs again.

I was diagnosed with pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis, or PPFE for short, in 2014. I struggled to come to terms with the impact it would have on my life. PPFE is a rare type of interstitial lung disease and causes scarring of the lungs.

Just 3 years ago, I ran all the way from John O’Groats to Land’s End. However, more recently I have found myself struggling to run 5k or 10k. Activities like sprinting, like you do in football, or swimming under water, were no long possible. It was a bitter pill to swallow at the age of 29 and for a long time I found it impossible not to feel sorry for myself.

Things started to change for the better once I accepted my lungs weren’t going to improve and I started to look for help and support. The British Lung Foundation opened my eyes to self-management and the importance of exercise to helping me maintain a high quality of life.

So I started going back to the gym and signed up for the Big 100 to give myself a target to strive for and to give something back to the charity.

I completed the Big 100 over the weekend 2-3 June walking all the way from Rye to Margate along the Kent Coastal Path. It was a wonderful adventure and while I was very sore afterwards was 100% worth all the effort, raising £1,000 for the charity.

I’m already looking forward to my next fundraising challenge and cannot thank the British Lung Foundation enough for giving me a new purpose and helping me to rediscover my love for exercise.


If you feel like giving yourself the challenge of walking 100 kilometres in 30 days, you can still sign up to take part in the Big 100. Alternatively, you can hold your own Take Steps walk and get your friends and family to join.

Sign up to the Big 100 now

Regardless of the challenge, don’t forget to claim your free training t-shirt from one of our corporate partners PARI Medical, who will donate €10 for every photo you submit of you wearing the t-shirt during your training.


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14 June 2018