A woman from Bushey who was diagnosed with an incurable disease 15 years ago has raised over £7,000 by walking her own version of a marathon throughout the month of April.
In 2004, Juliet Coffer was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, a rare condition that causes patches of red swollen tissue to develop in different organs.
Juliet’s sarcoidosis affects her lungs and heart and makes small tasks like cooking and cleaning difficult and require extensive planning.
Over time, Juliet’s condition has deteriorated, and she has been attached to oxygen 24 hours a day for the past six years.
Even the physical effort of walking is a challenge because her lungs are only 20 per cent efficient taking in air.
Juliet has always dreamed of running a marathon and wanted to take on a bespoke challenge of walking 100 additional meters every day to raise funds for Sarcoidosis UK to help find a cure to save the lives of sarcoidosis sufferers who come next.
She explained: “I am aiming, under Doctor’s advice, to walk an additional 3000 metres in 30 days in honour of Sarcoidosis Awareness Month in April.
To most of you an additional 3km, or just under 2 miles, in a month probably doesn’t seem very far, even verging on the ridiculous, until I tell you that most days, I struggle to walk more than 100 metres a day. This challenge will aim to make me double the distance I walk daily.”
Despite the challenges of sarcoidosis, Juliet remains positive and wants to help others. She said: “Most importantly, I don’t let it affect my life. I am a very positive person, this is my reality and I’m going to live it. I am very determined I won’t be held hostage by it.
“If I can leave the world in a better place, even in a small way, then I have achieved something good.”
Juliet’s fundraising page remains open for donations at justgiving.com/fundraising/julietcoffer