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Wayne 'Rambo' Groves' story

Wayne Groves with daughterInspired by his daughter Lainie’s daily struggle with arthritis, Wayne ‘Rambo’ Groves decided to do something he thought he would never do, and signed up for the Great North Run.

Wayne says;
"As a parent it is very hard to watch, especially when you are unable to do anything about it"

Wayne Groves“My daughter Lainie was diagnosed with arthritis at one year old, so it is something she has known all her life. Watching her deteriorate from a fun kid full of energy,to becoming a very withdrawn person, unable to do much because of her illness is so heart-breaking. As a parent it is very hard to watch, especially when you are unable to do anything about it, but Lainie just gets on with it.”

“Over the last few years my daughter has gone from using a wheelchair, to crutches and now uses neither! This was a long hard journey for her, having to give up lots of things as she slowly built herself up. Laine went from being home schooled to starting comprehensive school in the 2nd year, so she was the new girl with no friends. She knew she would get bullied because of her condition, but she was determined to be normal and do the same things as everyone else.”

“One comment Lainie made was how her new friends thought it was great that she got out of P.E. and didn't have to run, yet she wishes so much that she could run like she used to. Hearing her say that was heart-breaking as it’s something we all take for granted. Right then and there I decided if she can go through everything she has, then I can put myself through hell by doing my biggest challenge ever – the Great North Run!”"It really hit home why I did it and why I put myself through it all"

Wayne Groves“Getting to see my daughter three quarters of the way through the Great North Run was so emotional and it made me more determined than ever to cross that finish line. After the race I received a text from Lainie saying how proud of me she was which just blew me away. I must admit that I broke down in tears reading it, and in fact I still do every time I read that message. It really hit home why I did it and why I put myself through it all.”

“I got home afterwards and thought about Lainie and how it felt to hear her say how proud of me she was. It meant the world to me, so I went online, and I signed straight back up for 2018 less than 24 hours after crossing that finish line. I now know what to expect and I am still dreading it, but I know I have Lainie and Team A behind me. The fact that I can raise more money and awareness for such a great cause is a great motivation, and I am proud to be able to tell people I am running for my daughter Lainie and for Arthritis Research UK.”

Last year Wayne raised an incredible £855 and together with the rest of Team A helped to raise more than £40,000 at the Great North Run in 2017. It is with the support of all our amazing fundraisers that we can continue to invest in breakthrough treatments, the best information and vital support for people with Arthritis.

If like Wayne you wish to take part in the world’s favourite half marathon, you can secure one of our guaranteed charity places here, or can see our full list of events here.

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Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.