A PE TEACHER has been inspired by his young wife’s battle with arthritis to run the London Marathon.

Tom Williams, 24, from Great Ayton, is running the Virgin Money London Marathon for Arthritis Research UK.

Mr Williams’ wife, Lauren, who is 25-years-old, was diagnosed with reactive arthritis last year after experiencing swollen and painful joints.

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According to doctors, she was infected with a water-born parasite whilst they were on holiday in Egypt, which triggered the onset of the disease.

When they returned to the UK, she had to be hospitalised and treated for nearly a month at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and was bound to a wheelchair.

Lauren is currently taking disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to control her condition; however she still experiences fatigue and pain towards the end of the day.

Mr Williams said: “Visiting Lauren in a hospital ward was heart breaking. I saw first-hand the pain and disability that the condition causes.

“Before she was diagnosed and hospitalised, I was very naive about how severe arthritis can be and the impact it can have on people’s everyday lives.

One of the greatest information sources we received was Arthritis Research UK’s patient booklets which laid out all of questions we needed answering. I want to raise awareness of arthritis so people understand it is not just a condition for older people.”

Tom hopes to raise £2,000 for Arthritis Research UK by organising fundraising and rallying support from family and friends.

If you would like to help Tom reach his fundraising target you can contribute online with Tom’s Virgin Money Giving Page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tdwilliams90