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I ran a half marathon for my sister

Caroline took on a half marathon after her sister was left with permanent lung damage.

Caroline Walker runs the Cardiff half marathon

It's all too easy to take things around you for granted, especially life and those special people in it. I've been guilty of this with my sister, Kayleigh. Kayleigh has always been there for me, and I thought she always would be. It wasn't until this awful condition threatened to take her from me that I realised just how special she is.

In June 2012 she was just 21 when she contracted a severe bout of pneumonia. It almost killed her, and left her with permanent damage to her lungs. Less than a year later, in April 2013, she was taken to hospital with pneumonia again and didn't get the all-clear until August - 4 months later.

We believe Kayleigh’s susceptibility to pneumonia is heightened because of an illness she caught as a young child, which has weakened her immune system. No matter how old she gets she will always be my baby sister and I will do all I can for her.

This year, I took on the challenge of the Cardiff half marathon in aid of the British Lung Foundation. Like my sister and father, I’ve been asthmatic all my life, so as a family we have a close connection with lung conditions. I’d never run a half marathon before, but after seeing how hard Kayleigh has fought to overcome her illnesses, I decided that I have to do something to try and help.

Pneumonia kills around 1,700 people, and causes over 9,000 hospital admissions for people like Kayleigh in Wales every year. So I’ve made it my mission to raise money on behalf of the British Lung Foundation, who provide support to people with lung conditions.

Think you can take on a challenge like Caroline? Take a look at our favourite fundraising events, or organise your own event such as a Big Breakfast.

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30 October 2014