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Jen's Marathon Journey

06 March 2024

We're privileged to share the story of our long-time supporter, Jen, a devoted advocate in the fight against MS inspired by her late father, Stephen. Jen’s heartfelt video message serves as a poignant reminder of the impact of MS on individuals and families alike.

Jen's message

Enduring support

This week, Jen crossed the finish line of the Paris Half Marathon in aid of MS Research. It was not just an impressive athletic achievement, but alsoa fitting tribute to her father’s love of running and the outdoors.

Jen's commitment to the fight against MS spans decades. It has involved enviable grit and determination, not just for marathon running, but for setting up and running a music and arts festival, and even manufacturing and selling candles.

Jen Paris Marathon

Remembering Stephen

Jen's whole world changed when her father, Stephen Lloyd, was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis at just 35. Jen was only 10 years old at the time; her brother just 6. They had to witness firsthand their father's struggles with MS. They helped their mum support him as MS robbed him of his mobility, his voice, and ultimately, his life.

Jen has fond and enduring memories of her father's zest for life. He had a vibrant spirit, loved photography, music and anything outdoors, including running, rock climbing and sailing his fishing boat.

Stephen passed away in 2006, aged just 46, after contracting pneumonia and other infections his body was no longer able to fight off.

Yard Life

While still at university Jen embarked on a mission to create something meaningful in her father's memory. In her own words, she wanted to ‘do something pretty epic for Dad’. This led to Jen and a small team of volunteers hosting Yard Life, a music and arts festival held at Islington Metal Works in April 2014.

As well as showcasing talented new bands and artists, Yard Life donated all profits straight to MS Research, for which we remain enormously grateful. The festival served as a testament to Stephen and Jen’s joint love of music, and Jen's fervent belief in the need to find a cure and improve the lives of those affected by MS.

Making a difference

Jen's journey is a reminder of the power of community and the resilience of the human spirit. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by MS, honouring the memory of Stephen Lloyd and countless others affected by this debilitating condition.

At the time of writing, Jen’s Paris Marathon JustGiving page is still open. So there’s still time to support her valiant efforts, while also helping us to support vital, cutting-edge MS research.

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