When she decided to run the forthcoming Linlithgow 10K, Lesley Lenders knew exactly who she would raise funds for.
Having seen her late mother Kate Carter battle multiple sclerosis, she opted to support MS Society Scotland, describing the charity as “the obvious choice”.
The support worker at Linlithgow Academy said her mother, who worked as a staff nurse at St Michael’s Hospital, was a “well-known” and “charismatic” figure who was diagnosed in her early 50s.
“With so little known about this disease she set up a support group in Linlithgow which used to meet every Wednesday,” Lesley said.
“It soon became apparent that there were quite a number of people affected in the area.
“They became a strong, close-knit group of friends who turned to each other in times of need. I was so proud of her.”
Running the group also helped Kate deal with the disease, which affects people in different ways.
“She was fiercely independent and determined to do as much as she could for herself,” said Lesley, adding that her mum was relatively mobile for several years but was eventually confined to a wheelchair.
“After moving in with us she still tried to keep her cheery face on, even though I knew she was crying with frustration inside from her lack of mobility.”
Lesley, who is running the 10K on September 28 with her husband Ron (48), explained that her mother eventually developed pneumonia and passed away four years ago.
“Her body was already weak from years of what I can only describe as erosion from MS and it couldn’t fight back,” she said.
“Mum was a truly inspiring person who gave so much and asked for so little in return. With her cheery disposition and positive outlook she brightened everyone’s day.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Lesley-Lenders/.