Running for Wiles

Megs, Kirst and me in May 2011
This is a picture of my sister Megs, our close friend Kirsten and I at another close friend's wedding in May 2011. Megs and I met Kirsten in 1998 at a petrol station in France. For the better part of 14 years we have had adventures together all over the world and remain great mates even after marriages, babies (and the odd trip to Splendour in the Grass).

Running for Wiles
On Christmas Day 2011, the life of our very beautiful friend, Kirsten took a dramatic turn when she collapsed and began having seizure after seizure. 
She was rushed to Nepean Hospital and placed in a medically induced coma to limit the seizures and their potential for damage. Meanwhile, doctors began what was to be a long, difficult process to diagnose her. 
Kirsten (or 'Wiles' as her besties call her) was transferred to the ICU at Westmead Hospital where the doctors continued to run tests and search - consulting with colleagues all over the world - in the hope of finding some answers as to what was wrong with her and how she could be helped. 
Eventually, Kirsten was diagnosed with non-Para neoplastic limbic encephalitis, an autoimmune disease that is extremely rare. After seven weeks she was eventually brought out of the coma and since then she has fought her way through a long recovery process trying to get home to her husband and two very young sons - slowly responding to treatment that has had to be tweaked each step of the way as the Neurological Sciences team at Westmead tread this new ground. 

'Wiles' and her two boys just before she got sick
Wiles still has a long way to go - and still struggles with talking and remembering much about the last few years - but we are encouraged by her progress and inspired by her spirit. We know that without the research and resources of Westmead Hospital, our friend may not be here today and we hope that the institute continues to conduct benchmark research that saves lives.

With this in mind, Megs and I are dedicating our first ever half-marathon (the Sydney Half-Marathon on 20 May 2012) to raising whatever we can for Westmead Institute's research into Neurological Science. If you are so inclined we would appreciate any amount you choose to donate this cause and you can do so by clicking here.

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