A Sunderland slimmer is preparing to run the London Marathon next month just a year after a breaking his hip
Graeme Wharton who lost seven-and-a-half stone has made a great recovery which will see him take part in the gruelling race on April 22.
The bus driver, 47, feared how would never run again after a fall last year, but he will now take part in the 26-mile race for a second time, to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the Irish Cancer Society.
Graeme joined the Sunderland Slimming World group with his wife Lisa in January 2013.
The pair, who are parents to Jack, 22, and 19-year-old Alice, have lost 13st 5lbs between them.
Graeme, who works for Go Northeast and found a passion for running after losing weight, broke his hip last March when he slipped on a wet floor.
It’s a blessing to be able to run the marathon after where I was just a year ago – at that point I worried I would never run againGraeme Wharton
He says: “It’s a blessing to be able to run the marathon after where I was just a year ago – at that point I worried I would never run again.
“Slimming World taught me you can do anything you put your mind to, though, and before I knew it, in time, I was running again, getting further and further each time.
Running a marathon again after what I went through is a dream come true.”
Graeme added: “There’s no way I’d have lost 7st or be running the marathon after breaking my hip without the support of my Slimming World group.
“They are the ones who have kept me on track each week – both with my weight loss and with my running milestones.
“My group inspired me to take those first steps and have been there to congratulate me whenever I reach a new milstones, as well as inspiring me with their achievements on their own journeys.
“I can’t believe I’m running the marathon after where I was before losing weight. I’m so much happier and healthier and by losing weight I know I’ve reduced my chances of developing a range of health problems.”
Lisa Wharton, who is now a Slimming World Consultant herself, runs the Ryhope group that Graeme now attends.
She said: “We are all so proud of him.
“When Graeme and I first walked through the doors at Slimming World we just wanted to lose weight – neither of us had any idea what a huge life and fitness transformation we were about to begin and Graeme certainly no idea that he would now be running the London Marathon for the second time.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Graeme and the Slimming World Marathon team can do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/swlondonmarathonteam2018