AECC University College Student with Cystic Fibrosis to take part in London Marathon

AECC University College student, Tommy Coltman, faces a life-struggle battling cystic fibrosis, but is giving up his time to run the London Marathon and raise money to help others with the debilitating condition. There are over 10,400 people with cystic fibrosis living in the UK and the population is growing every year

Tommy discovered he had cystic fibrosis at the age of 14. As a child, he had developed a constant bad cough and suffered breathing difficulties, but these were mainly put down to him having repeated colds and flu. It was not until Tommy's mother met her new partner - one whose own two children had cystic fibrosis - that the subject came up and he advised her to take Tommy to get checked by a doctor.

Following the checks, Tommy was diagnosed with the life-shortening condition, which sees people experience a build-up of mucus that can cause chronic lung infections and progressive lung damage. 

Five years later, a 19 year old Tommy, who comes from Harrogate, North Yorks, is concentrating on keeping fit. He is a keen rugby player for AECC University College and has been training hard for his marathon run. Tommy says that running helps him as it clears his airways and makes it easier to breathe. 

Tommy is studying on our flagship Master of Chiropractic course, training to become a qualified chiropractic here in Bournemouth. 

"I have never done long distance running before and as I play rugby for my University College, I am more used to sprinting short distances. But I want to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as the condition has played a huge part in the life of myself and my family."

Tommy's rigorous training schedule involves running eight miles every other day along our picturesque coast, taking in the views of Bournemouth beach. He does this in addition to a daily 45-minute regime of taking medicines and carrying out physiotherapy to help fight off the symptoms of cystic fibrosis. 

"I am lucky as while I have cystic fibrosis I still have quite a great deal of lung capacity - at around 90 per cent - and carrying out exercise really helps me as it helps clear my airways. It also gives me a great chance to raise money to help others who have this awful condition."

Anne Shinkwin, Director of Fundraising at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said, "The London Marathon is a fantastic event that is hugely important to us at the CFT.

We would very much like to thank Tommy for taking part this year and raising money for our cause as his hard efforts will certainly help us in our mission to fund research into cystic fibrosis and campaign to improve the lives of those with this terrible life shortening condition. We wish Tommy all the best on the day!" 

And of course, all of us here at AECC University College wish Tommy the best for his run and will continue to support him throughout his study and training.

You can donate and help Tommy raise money, or find out more about cystic fibrosis.