Kirsten Bowie will take part in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run to raise awareness of Tuberculosis after losing her brother to the disease.
The 50-year-old from Bideford is set for her first half marathon in memory of her brother Tommy who sadly passed away from TB being 39 years old.
Tommy fell ill with a persistent cough, fever and weight loss but despite visits to the doctors, Tuberculosis was never diagnosed and he sadly passed away on 12 July 2006.
Kirsten said: “At the time I couldn’t comprehend that TB had taken his life.
“I miss my brother so much and continue to struggle to come to terms with losing him but I know he would be very proud of me completing the run.
“After my brother lost his life it made me sit up and take a look at my own life, I stopped smoking thinking that somehow if I got some extra breath I would be breathing for him.”
Tommy was a keen artist and had a passion for architecture. He loved the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty which he used to sketch regularly. He travelled to New York and stayed for 6 months in his late teens fulfilling one of his dreams. His other dream was to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Kirsten is planning on taking on the Golden Gate half marathon next year in his memory where she plans to scatter the remainder of his ashes.
Next step for Kirsten is Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run where she aims to raise awareness of TB in order to prevent other people from going through what their family did.
She said: “My brother lost his life prematurely and any promotion that would raise awareness to the signs and symptoms of TB would give me comfort that it could save someone's life.
“I think my decision to participate in the Great Scottish Run has given my parents a focus, not that anything will ever bring my brother back but they know I’m doing it in his memory and they will take great comfort if someone’s life can be saved through TB awareness.”
Kirsten is very happy to finally be able to take on the half marathon after having three knee cartilage operations. She is getting stronger and is now 4 weeks into training.
She said: “When I’m training especially on the longer runs and find it difficult I think of how much my brother must have suffered trying to catch his breath and not being able to breathe. This helps me through, as the pain I feel will never compare to what he went through.”
Kirsten has chosen Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run as her first running event because the course passes many landmarks close to her heart, including the stadium of her brother’s favourite football team.
The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run features both 10k and half marathon distances and welcomes thousands of runners to the city of Glasgow every year. Both events start in George Square and from there participants are taken on a tour of the city past a selection of Glasgow’s finest venues and buildings, as well as crossing over the River Clyde before runners head back for their grandstand finish on Glasgow Green.
To enter the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run click here
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