Families affected by epilepsy making the most of lockdown

Published: April 21 2020
Last updated: September 28 2022

While the majority of us are staying at home for the foreseeable future, people with epilepsy are being creative in passing the time, keeping fit – and raising money for charity in the process.

Glynis Wiles was set to run the London Marathon for Epilepsy Action as her 11-year-old-son, Alex, was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was five years old.

Glynis said: “We still struggle with Alex’s diagnosis. But we help Alex to understand that, while, it is a small part of who he is, it does not define ‘who’ he is. The last 6 years have been a difficult and very frustrating time for us all. We watched for triggers, dealt with seizures and strived to find the right medication to control it. Luckily for us all he has been seizure free for just over one year now, for which we are all extremely grateful. He is such a brave boy and takes it all in his stride – he always has! I am so proud to be his mummy.”

Despite the marathon being postponed until later in the year, Glynis was still determined to do something to mark the event, after weeks of dedicated training. Glynis will run the 26.2 miles marathon distance locally over the course of this week as part of her daily exercise allowance. On Sunday, the whole family is going to join in the fun, running the last 2.6 miles together.

Glynis and her family also have plans for 25 other challenges, as part of the 2.6 challenge. This is a nationwide virtual challenge taking place on Sunday 26 April, the original date of this year’s London Marathon. The event has since been postponed until October.

The Wiles family are all set for a busy day on Sunday, from completing 26 star jumps to running up and down stairs 26 times. They will also be taking on a sweet challenge, trying to fit as many chocolate buttons in their mouth as they can in 26 seconds.

Bob Sutcliffe, 49, from Cumbria was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 36. Bob and his wife Jan are also planning a set of 26 challenges as part of the 2.6 challenge.

Bob and Jan will be running up a hill near their house, as well as doing yoga, Pilates, and even dry swimming and paddle boarding in their pond. Jan was due to run the London Marathon for Epilepsy Action in support of Bob and others living with epilepsy. Even their two dogs are getting in on the action, rounding up the chickens to cover the final 0.2 miles that make up a marathon 26.2-mile distance.

You can follow the progress of Glynis, Alex, Bob and Jan on Epilepsy Action social media channels.

The 2.6 challenge invites people to get active and creative in their own way to raise funds for charities across the UK. People could run 2.6 miles in their living room, do 26 star-jumps, 26 times or bake 26 identical cakes in 2.6 hours.