A brother and sister duo are running the London Marathon in honour of their father, who was killed by a rare brain disease.

Michelle Maull-Hutfield and Steven Burford-Maull, who run with local running club Slinn Allstars, are running in memory of their father, Chris, who was one of the founding members of local female football club Swindon Spitfires.

Chris Maull, died from a condition called Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) in April 2022,

This is a rare neurological condition that can cause problems with balance, movement, vision, speech and swallowing. It's caused by increasing numbers of brain cells becoming damaged over time.

Steven, from Coleview, said: “Dad’s diagnosis of PSP was a shock for all of us and none of us knew about this incurable disease. When Covid 19 hit, we had to rally round to become his carers and when my father became bed-bound, it was difficult for all of us.”

Michelle, from Ferndale, added, “My father would be out marking football pitches for all the (Spitfires) teams, so he was fit and healthy and when he started falling over, we all realised that something wasn’t right and eventually he was diagnosed with PSP."

Symptoms of PSP tend to start subtly. Then over time, they become more noticeable and severe.

Often, the first sign is a problem with balance while walking. You may fall a lot or find that you feel a bit rigid or uncomfortable when you walk.

Although experts basically understand how PSP happens, they don't understand why it happens.

For this reason, Michelle and Steven decided to sign up to run the London Marathon for PSPA - a charity dedicated to supporting and helping people dealing with the disease.

To donate to their fundraising total, visit: https://2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/michelle-maull-hutfield or https://2024tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/steve-maull.

Michelle said: “I don’t think we will be running together on the day. Although, this is my third London marathon, Steven is likely to finish a couple of hours ahead of me!

Steven said: “We’d like to say a big thank you to everybody who has supported us so far. We still have a couple of months left to raise funds towards this forgotten cause which supports so many families and individuals across the UK.”

Michelle and Steven are hoping to raise £4,000 for PSPA and have already raised just under £1,500.