A MAN with motor neurone disease who still goes to work every day has inspired his stepdaughter to take up marathon running.

William Fulford was diagnosed with the illness in April 2015, but still runs his 40-year-old business Fulford Body Repairs, in Birchwood Road, Dedham.

Stepdaughter Stephanie White said: “William has a carer who picks him up every day and takes him to work. He has eight employees. It’s a very well-known business.

“He’s wheelchair-bound, but his heart is so strong. He hasn’t let MND ruin his day-to-day life. It has affected his limbs, rather than his breathing, which should mean he lives longer, though his speech has started to go.”

William, 53, who is married to Stephanie’s mum Paula and lives in Lawford, Manningtree, was also well-known for motor racing in his younger days.

A sister car body repair business, Fulford Motor Sport, also operates at the Birchwood Farm premises.

Stephanie, who went to Philip Morant School in Colchester, has been fundraising since the diagnosis with a number of events, including a charity fun day, her super boot camp, and a curry and quiz night.

This weekend, Stephanie and friend Katherine Rigby will be taking part on the Colchester Half Marathon ahead of next month’s London Marathon.

Stephanie, 29, who works as a senior recruitment consultant for Bright Selection in Colchester, has been in training for a number of weeks and is now going on runs of up to 17 miles undertake longer and longer runs each week, now exceeding 17 miles.

On Sunday April 9, a Wrabness Ramble will take part, where dogs can also join family members on a walk to boost funds.

To date, some £6,304 has been raised for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, with Stephanie, who lives in Stratford St Mary, hoping to raise more than £8,000 overall.

She added: “I have never run before in my life. This is completely life-changing for me but William is proving such an inspiration. If he can get up and go to work every day, we can do a run.”

Stephanie and Kat’s fundraising page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/StephAndKat

A rolling road block will move around Colchester throughout the morning of this Sunday’s Griffin Chapman Colchester half marathon.

The seventh annual 13-mile race kicks off at 9am from the Weston Homes Community Stadium and follows the same route as previous years.

This year Essex University will be providing a warm up stage prior to the race.

The event’s chosen charity this year is the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust.

  • An eight-page supplement of all the marathon highlights will feature in the Daily Gazette the next day.