This Lytham mum is gearing up for a big challenge for a cause close to her heart.
Mother-of-two Donna-Louise Green has been training hard to take part in her first marathon, the London Marathon, on April 13.
The 37-year-old will be raising funds for charity Meningitis Now.
And as well as raising money, she hopes to raise awareness of the illness.
She was struck down with viral meningitis in 2006, when her eldest son Max, was just one year old.
She had to be rushed to A&E and undergo a lumbar puncture and spend weeks in hospital.
But her condition could have been missed as she had few symptoms.
Donna-Louise said: “I was very poorly. But I had hardly any symptoms. At the time I knew nothing about viral meningitis, but I do now.
“I had a headache, which could have been caused by lots of things and I couldn’t stand the light.
“I could just tell and my husband could see that I wasn’t very well at all, although we didn’t know what it was.
“I was diagnosed over the phone by NHS Direct, who said to get to hospital the fastest way – whether it be by ambulance or car.
“I was diagnosed with viral meningitis and had to spend quite a bit of time in hospital. It took me six months really to recover.
“I think people tend to know more about bacterial meningitis, but the viral form can still be very serious and dangerous – so I hope to raise awareness of that. And, quite rightly, there has been publicity about meningitis in children – but I want adults to know they can be affected too.”
Donna-Louise, who runs her own business, decided she wanted to take on a big sporting challenge this year, inspired by her family.
“I’m not a runner. But my two boys are always coming home with medals for sporting achievements and my husband does triathlons, so he has medals. I thought to myself ‘what am I going to get a medal for?’ and decided I would go for a marathon. I was delighted to get a place running for Meningitis Now.
“The training has been going well and I’ve got up to about 19.5 miles, so I’m quite happy with that.
“I’ve been getting up at 5am to train as it’s hard to fit in being a mum and running a family business.
“I’ve had such fantastic support, especially from AKS in Lytham – I am a former Arnold School pupil and they have really got behind me. They have raised at least £1,000 which I really appreciate.
“My boys, Max and Jake, have done really well too, raising money to support my efforts. They’ve raised more than £120.
“With Gift Aid, I will have reached my target of £3,000, so I am delighted.”
* To support Donna-Louise, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/DONNA-LOUISE