Saturday, 13 April 2024
Saturday, 13 April 2024

Reading University student with muscular dystrophy set to walk the Oxford 10k

TRISTAN Boedts, 27, has hiked to Everest Base Camp, done a year-long solo world trip, and walked the Oxford Half Marathon. He also has Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD), a rare, progressive muscle-wasting condition, which means he is expected to be in an electric wheelchair by the age of 30.

This year, he has signed up to take part in the Bidwells Oxford 10k in support of Muscular Dystrophy UK, the leading charity for people in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle-wasting and weakening conditions, and will be walking the 10k route around Oxford town centre on Sunday 12 May.

Originally from Belgium, but currently living and studying in Reading, Tristan doesn’t let his condition define him. He said:

“I have had LGMD since birth, although it took 23 years to diagnose muscular dystrophy. I like to think I have a pretty positive outlook on life and luckily, I’m surrounded by loads of friends at uni who see me as Tristan not ‘that guy with a disability’. I’m proud of the things I have done, like hiking to Everest Base Camp, but I know the expectation is that I’ll be in an electric wheelchair by the age of 30 so the clock is ticking. I can’t run but currently, I can still walk, which is why it’s important to me to get out and do things like this.

“Taking part in the Oxford 10k is a chance for me to make a difference and help raise awareness of my condition and Muscular Dystrophy UK, the charity that supports people like me across the UK.”

Tristan is currently studying for an MSc in Consumer Behaviour and has his sights set on being an academic, potentially focusing on policy or international relations.

Tristan said:

“My positive outlook does sometimes get tested with the slow decline I experience with my condition, but I get support and have good friends around me. As long as I can make a difference and use my brain over muscles in the future, I’ll be happy.”

This is the 42nd year of the Oxford 10k, which started in 1982 inspired by a local boy, Daniel Cleaver, who had muscular dystrophy. It offers participants a closed-road route taking in historic city sights, with chip timing and an event village. The money raised from the event will help Muscular Dystrophy UK fund groundbreaking research and life-changing support for people across the UK living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions.

Find out more about Bidwells Oxford 10k and sign up at: www.townandgown10k.com/oxford.

General entry costs £32.50 per person or £21 for runners who commit to fundraising £75, including booking fee. Entry for the Junior 3k costs £16.50 per person (9-15 years).

Find out more about Muscular Dystrophy UK at: www.musculardystrophyuk.org.

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