FIT…for the London Marathon.

This year, for the first time, the Fungal Infection Trust will have a sponsored runner in the London Marathon on April 26th. Please support Jenny Long who is running the London Marathon for FIT!

Jenny Long who is training to be an ENT surgeon, in between her clinics at Northwick Park Hospital, is hard at work training to set a personal best time in the Marathon and to raise funds for FIT.

Jenny Long.

Jenny Long.

Jenny has bravely agreed to wear a giant mushroom as a hat – to represent the source of fungi- so she should be easy to find on the day.

FIT is seeking to raise £130,000 for ground breaking research into the genetic aspects of susceptibility to fungal infections.

The Fungal Infection Trust is a small charity specialising in funding Research and raising Awareness of fungal lung infections and LIFE threatening illnesses that are caused by fungi.

Unless you know someone who has or had a serious fungal lung infection you may not recognise how important this work is. We at FIT work alongside a specialised Centre – The National Aspergillosis Centre, the only one in the UK – which treats, cares for and supports patients with aspergillosis- one type of serious fungal lung infection.

We already have evidence that indicates a genetic factor, we need to take this research to the next stage – if we understand what role genetics plays in getting this disease, – we can achieve better outcomes and save lives.

Jenny in training!

Jenny in training!

The FIT is trying to raise £130,000 to fund a programme of research to understand the genetics of these fungal illnesses.

A particular form of allergic fungal infection of the lung, called allergic pulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), complicates not only some severe asthma patients but also those with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. These patients develop an allergy to the spores of the fungus, which all of us breathe daily, which leads to lung damage. It is often not recognised until late on and if not spotted and treated with antifungal medicine, this can lead to permanent lung damage called fibrosis.

We already have evidence that indicates genetics is involved. We need to take this research to the next stage – if we understand what role genetics plays in getting this disease – we hope to achieve better outcomes and improve the quality of life for thousands of people.

Many genes are involved, including those associated with the recognition of aspergillus in the lungs and those associated with processing of foreign antigens by the immune system. Some other genetic links which are not yet well understood, relate to cell – cell junctions and proteins (enzymes) called tyrosine kinases which affect cell- cell adherence and communication channels in a cell.

The programme of research will assess how tyrosine kinases work in airways cells in the presence and absence of aspergillus. An assessment of the specific genetic differences in patients with the allergic-type of aspergillus illness will be studied with the goal of improving diagnosis and treatment for sufferers if FIT can raise the funds required.

So please sponsor Jenny Long in the london Marathon on April 26th.

Please help support our efforts. Sponsor Jenny in her marathon run or donate to the FIT via her Virgin giving page. Or to text donate type : ASPE14 £5 to 70070. (Substitute £5 with £2, £4 or £10 as you prefer. UK mobile phones only).