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Sue's Story

Sue LevinsonAfter being diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 30 years ago, Sue Levinson took up running and has taken on some incredible challenges for Arthritis Research UK over the years.

When Sue was at university, she suffered from constant sickness and chronic fatigue. Having visited the doctors for tests on multiple occasions, her results were coming back clear, and it was all put down to medication for an existing elbow injury.

However soon the pain escalated. Sue became hypersensitive and being touched was suddenly unbearable. In what was a tough year, she saw no let ups with her symptoms. Concerned friends and family suggested she try non-conventional treatments such as homeopathy, mineral supplements and diet change but with no success, she was finally referred to a rheumatologist.  

Sue says;

“Being referred to a rheumatologist was the best thing that happened to me. Explaining my symptoms to a specialist, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia almost straight away.”

Sue had been active for many years before being diagnosed, taking part in exercise classes as well as being a keen horse rider. The fatigue Sue was now experiencing made her dread the idea of exercising in any way, however a conversation with her rheumatologist had a life changing effect.  

Sue continues;  

“I was recommended to take up running to help control my symptoms and build up my muscle strength, however at the time I couldn’t think of anything worse. I was not a born runner, but I was willing to give anything a go to try and lessen the pain.”"I was not a born runner, but I was willing to give anything a go to try and lessen the pain.”

Sue Levinson
“With the support of close friends, I got into running and felt the benefits after a run. Not only did it help me physically but also helped me psychologically. Wanting to get into my running more but lacking motivation at times, I decided that fundraising for a charity which meant something to me would get me to the next level of running. I couldn’t let my sponsors down could I?”

“I found a charity that was not only doing vital work into arthritis but the support I received was so meaningful and supportive that being part of Team A made me feel part of something much bigger.”

"...being part of Team A made me feel part of something much bigger.”

Sue Levinson

"I have run both theGreat North Run and the London Marathon, and in 2017 I decided to embark on my own personal challenge named Sue’s Monthly Madness. Each month I took part in a running event, all different. Some were orienteering based, some on road and others off road – all with their own challenging elements.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed setting myself my own personal challenge over my years of fundraising for Arthritis Research UK. I have felt so valued as a member of Team A and I am looking forward to seeing what my next challenge will be!”

If you’d like to set your own personal challenge in 2018 for Arthritis Research UK or join Team A for one of our events, find out more here or email

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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.