The mother of Ashley Gover, the 11-year-old boy who is battling with a disease that causes vision loss, is competing in the Bath Half Marathon in aid of breakthrough research.

Louise, 34, of Francis Street in Trowbridge, is determined to raise funds for trials that are taking place in Newcastle for the disease Leber’s optic neuropathy.

John of Gaunt pupil Ashley has deteriorated since his diagnosis in September. He no longer has a reading score on an eyesight test and can now only see hand movements.

Mrs Gover said: “Two professors are leading the trials to see if a drug can slow down the disease. I am interested in the results and the research relies fully on funding.”

The mother-of-three took up running last year to compete in the Bristol Half Marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Support.

She started training again in December to help Ashley and has now lost three stones in weight ahead of next month's Bath Half.

Mrs Gover said: “I was training up to four times a week and had reached 12km but I have had the flu for a fortnight. I feel fine now, it is just a cough.

“I bought a treadmill a few days ago so I can keep training but it is not the same. I want to be back running outside. I am really looking forward to it.

“My only anxiety is this chest infection. I am not where I need to be.

“I have had fantastic support from the family and work. Ashley is not too bothered about me running, but he will be there on the day. Just completing it for Ashley is the important thing but it is a personal challenge too.”

Mrs Gover, who works at Staverton House, will take part in the 13-mile course around the city on March 2 with her husband’s aunt, Rachel Gover.

On the day she will have the support of her colleagues, husband Daniel, and their two daughters Jaymie and Bethany. They will all be wearing fundraiser T-shirts printed free of charge by apetito.

Ashley now walks to school with a white stick and is having braille lessons several times a week at John of Gaunt.

Mrs Gover added: “He thinks it is boring but he knows he needs to do it and gets on with it. He is not keen on all the changes but it will enable him to keep up with the class."

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