Phil vows: '˜I'll beat my motor neurone disease prognosis to stay alive for the Great South Run this year'
A five-time marathon runner who had his life turned upside down when he was diagnosedÂ with Motor Neurone Disease will take part in the Simplyhealth Great South Run in aÂ wheelchair to raise awareness of the condition.
Brave Phil Rossall hopes to be able to stay alive untilÂ November to complete the 10-mile challenge for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
He will be pushed around the course in a wheelchair and will be joined by a team of runnersÂ from Run MND, an online group who take part in running events for the charity.
Phil was an active, healthy, 64-year-old and had taken part in five marathons in the UK andÂ overseas before he was diagnosed with the condition, which has no current cure.
He was given between 18 months and two years to live as the condition is always fatal.
Over the last two years, he has become reliant on a ventilator for breathing and the use of aÂ wheelchair as his hands and legs have weakened.
Despite this, Phil is determined to do something positive and signed up for the SimplyhealthÂ Great South Run on Sunday 21 October to raise Â£10,000 for the charity.
He hopes that the money he raises will fund vital research into helping to find a cure for theÂ condition.
Phil, now 65, said: '˜I had been feeling a bit under the weather, I was getting slower atÂ walking and when I was out running. Then a couple of years ago I collapsed and got taken toÂ hospital.
'˜I thought they would look at the bump on my head but they did tests and found myÂ breathing was shot and I didn't have much way of getting oxygen in or carbon dioxide out.
'˜Eventually, I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. It was a slightly odd experienceÂ as the words had been mentioned several times already so it wasn't a massive surpriseÂ when it came.
'˜Normally you have on average two years to live after diagnosis. I was diagnosed in JuneÂ two years ago, so I am already living on borrowed time.
'˜I soon decided there was no point in looking back or thinking about what I can't do, IÂ decided to go for things that I could still do.
'˜I am not one of these people who sit and do nothing, I am so lucky to have my wife BrendaÂ who is very supportive.
'˜I got hold of Run MND via the Motor Neurone Disease Association's Facebook page and IÂ have been in touch with them for the last year.
'˜I was looking for a race that I wanted to prepare for. 10 miles seemed an ideal distance, soÂ we all decided to take part in the Simplyhealth Great South Run.'
The team from Run MND is made of runners from across the country who have beenÂ affected by Motor Neurone Disease. There are many from the south coast, including theÂ Portsmouth area.
They will take part in the Simplyhealth Great South Run in Portsmouth with 20,000 othersÂ across a fast and flat course.
Runners celebrate everything that's great about the city, travelling through PortsmouthÂ Historic Dockyard, around Southsea and crossing the finish line on the sea front, overlookingÂ the Solent.
Phil, of , from Orpington in Greater London, who works as a charity researcher, thinks that the event will be his last chance to playÂ his part in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease.
He added: 'I was very active and very much an outdoor person. I used to go walking a lot.
'When I turned 50 I decided I would work for charities and wanted to start fundraisingÂ which led me onto running. I did my first marathon in 2010 and my last one was only inÂ 2014.
'At present there is no cure and very little by way of treatment. MND care is basicallyÂ palliative but the MND Association is able to help sufferers in so many ways. They are aÂ fantastic cause to support.
'The charity has helped me personally because we had a contribution towards ramps toÂ allow me to go in and out of the house in my wheelchair.
'We've had a lot of support and advice from them to keep me positive and independent atÂ home.
'The event seemed the obvious one to do. I have friends in Portsmouth already and itÂ seemed a great opportunity.
'My target is to stay alive until my 66 th Birthday which is the middle of November, so weÂ hope to have raised enough money to hit our target by then.
'The idea is for me to raise lots of money and research takes a long time. I won't benefitÂ from it but I am hoping that in five or 10 years' time, other people who are diagnosed withÂ MND will benefit and get better treatment or hopefully a cure.'
To support Phil's fundraising, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/phil-rossallmnd
Every runner has a story, it's time to start yours. Enter the Simplyhealth Great South RunÂ at: greatrun.org/South