Amy Taylor goes from couch potato to running the London Marathon to raise money in memory of her friend, Laura Edwards
LESS than a year ago, Amy Taylor was unable to run a mile.
But after being inspired by the memory of a friend, who died of leukaemia aged 16, she is now aiming to run an entire marathon.
Laura Edwards died in March 2006 following a two year battle with the disease and now 23-year-old Amy is taking on the gruelling challenge in her honour.
Amy decided to take on the London Marathon after watching her uncle complete it last April and wanted to support the Elimination of Leukaemia Fund as a tribute to her school friend.
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The nursery worker at The Ark has been running four times a week and completed a 30k race earlier this month.
Amy, from Charlton Kings, said: "Before I pretty much didn't get off the sofa exercise wise, so the change has really surprised my family and friends.
"Laura would be quite shocked and think I might have gone a little bit crazy, but I think she would be pleased I was doing it."
The former pupil at Balcarras School has lost more than two stone in weight since she started training.
She had hoped to raise £1,500 and is already on £1,750.
"I have never done anything like this before and so all of it is a big challenge," added Amy.
"I could not even run a mile when I started, but I have kept going and just slowly made my runs longer."
Laura, who was from Leckhampton, was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was told only a bone marrow transplant would save her.
The bone marrow operation seemed to be a success and Laura began AS-levels at Balcarras School.
But complications set in and she was taken to Bristol Children's Hospital. She died after two weeks in intensive care.
Some of Cheltenham's biggest organisations including GCHQ, Chelsea Building Society and the Echo held special clinics for staff to sign up to become donors after her death.
To sponsor Amy in the London Marathon, log on to www.virginmoneygiving.com/amytaylor6.