A Glusburn woman diagnosed with multiple sclerosis will run this year’s London Marathon to raise cash to combat the condition.

Melissa Joy, 25, is being sponsored to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

She was diagnosed with the illness, which affects the body’s central nervous system, in September. And the previous December doctors had said she was also suffering from epilepsy.

“At the moment I’m trying to live normally, and I’m doing my training three times a week,” she said. “I’m going to Zumba and I see a physio, but I do get tired easily.

“I still go to work, but I’m now doing 30 hours a week instead of 37 and a half hours. You just have to get on with it, don’t you?

“I’ve never done a marathon before but I’ve always wanted to. This particular charity means a lot to me, and I’m hoping to raise about £2,000.”

Miss Joy works as a nurse at Airedale Hospital and said she comes from a very sporty family. Her grandfather, Michael Hellawell, was a professional footballer who played two games for England, as well as for Birmingham City, Queen’s Park Rangers and Sunderland. Her cousin, Jacob Rowan, is the captain of Leeds Carnegie rugby union club, and her uncle, Lawrence Hellawell, has previously completed the London Marathon.

Miss Joy is already starting off her fundraising drive, and is keen to promote a race night at the King’s Arms pub, in Silsden, next Friday, January 10. This will be followed by a charity night at Laycock Village Hall on February 15.

Tickets for both events are £5 and must be purchased in advance by calling 0787 5332942. People can also donate directly by going to Miss Joy’s page on the virginmoneygiving.com website.