Missy B running in the London Marathon



On 26th April I will be facing the challenge of a life time and attempting to complete the London Marathon.

I have never been a runner but, bizarrely, the marathon is something that I have always wanted to do. 

I am running the marathon on behalf of Genetic Disorders UK, an amazing charity who support families that have been affected by a genetic disorder.

Families just like mine!

I have 6 children and my second child has a rare genetic disorder called chromosome 1q21.1 duplication syndrome.  This causes him to have autism, behavioural problems, problems with his short term memory, learning difficulties, trouble processing and expressing his emotions and a food phobia.

I contacted Genetic Disorders UK early last year and offered to run the marathon and fundraise for them.  They were thrilled to have me on board and I joined a local running group straight away, to help kick start my training.

genetics disorders UK

Everything was going really well.

Then, in June 2014, disaster struck.

I had a fall and broke both sides of my right ankle.  The ankle required immediate surgery to reset the bones, and insert a metal plate and pins to stabilise it.

I spent almost a week in hospital and had to spend the following 6 weeks in plaster cast.

My husband had to take extended leave from work so that he could care for me, and the children, and the summer holidays were ruined.

6 weeks after my surgery the doctors were thrilled with my progress and the ankle had fully healed.  My cast was removed and I was told to start the rather terrifying rehabilitation process of learning to walk on the ankle again. 

2 weeks after having the cast removed things were going well and I was able to walk with the aid of crutches.

We decided to take the children to Woburn Safari Park for the day to make up for their incredibly boring summer break.  I woke up feeling a little unwell but didn’t want to ruin the day, so I put a smile on my face and away we went.

By the time we had completed the drive through section of the safari I couldn’t move.

I was in agony, and I could hardly breathe!

An ambulance was called, and I was rushed in to hospital. 

When we reached the hospital I was greeted by a group of doctors and nurses and I was rushed straight in to the resuscitation area.

I was absolutely terrified.


After lots of blood test, x-rays, and scans it was established that I had a pulmonary embolism.

The rehabilitation process after my surgery had dislodged a clot from the surgical wound and it had travelled to my lung.

If the paramedics and hospital staff hadn’t acted as quickly as they did then I could have died.

Despite all of this I am still continuing with the marathon.

It’s no longer about running, or finishing times. 

It is about making it across the finish line and, hopefully, raising as much money as possible for Genetic Disorders UK.

If you would like to show your support, in any way, then please contact me at [email protected]

You can also sponsor me by going to www.justgiving.com/marissa-bird

Marissa Bird is 31 years old, married, and has 6 children, including one with a rare genetic disorder called Chromosome 1q21.1 Duplication syndrome.  

She is a Stay At Home Mum and started her blog Missy B and Family in 2011, while trying to obtain a diagnosis for her son, so that she could share her experiences in the hope that it may help others in a similar situation.  

Since then her blog has grown and is now a place where she shares a variety of opinions and experiences on many different subject matters.

Marissa loves to read a good book (if she can ever find the time), but most of all she loves spending time with her family.  Which is a good job really, as there isn’t much chance of escaping now. Tweet her

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