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Real marathon effort; CHARITY: Three races in three weekends to raise money for operation.

Byline: By Cara Simpson

AN IT manager from Warwickshire has run three marathons in three weekends for a man with a rare muscle disease who needs a pounds 40,000 operation.

Lorraine Pettit, 34, of Southam, works at Coventry law firm Ward & Rider and has completed three long-distance races, including the New York Marathon, in three weekends to raise money for the Dean Norris Fund.

Dean Norris, 28, also of Southam, suffers from myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibres disease, which causes him to jerk uncontrollably and is depriving him of the use of his right arm.

Because of the condition, he has difficulty eating, drinking and taking personal care of himself.

Due to the difficulty he has using his right arm, he has learned to use his left arm to do most tasks such as witing.

Dean, who takes 65 tablets a week to help control his shakes, has been told by a professor at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford that surgery could be used to eradicate the awkward symptoms.

But Warwickshire Primary Care Trust turned down his application for funding, forcing Dean's family and friends to unite in their efforts to generate the cash needed for the lifechanging surgery, which costs pounds 40,000.

Lorraine ran the Coventry Godiva Half Marathon and Portsmouth's Great South Run before flying across the Atlantic to complete the New York Marathon, and has so far raised pounds 400 for the fund which has generated pounds 10,000 in five months.

She said: "When I started running three years ago, if someone had said that I could run a marathon I would have thought they were mad.

"The New York marathon was one of the toughest experiences of my life, both physically and mentally, but it was also the most rewarding."

Dean's mum, Marina Norris, 51, said: "Everyone has been so supportive and I cannot thank fundraisers like Lorraine enough.

"I'd also like to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated money. We need all the help we can get."

Anyone who would like to contribute towards Lorraine's fundraising efforts can e-mail her at


ON THE RUN... IT manager Lorraine Pettit
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 21, 2008
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