Mum-of-two Sarah Wheeler is to take on the London Marathon to help raise money and awareness of autism.

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A Honiton mum-of-two is training for the challenge of a lifetime to help raise money and awareness of autism.

Sarah Wheeler will be taking part in the London Marathon next April in aid of the National Autistic Society (NAS).

“Taking part in the marathon is a huge personal goal and my way of helping over half a million people in the UK with autism,” she says.

“My challenge is nothing compared to the challenges that people with autism face every day. When my training is at its most gruelling, I am spurred on by the knowledge that my efforts are helping individuals with autism, which is a serious lifelong and disabling condition.”

Autism is a lifelong development disability affecting how a person communicates with and relates to others.

The 33-year-old added: “I am extremely passionate about raising money for NAS.

“Having family members affected by autism at both ends of the autistic spectrum, I know that one of the hardest things to deal with is the lack of understanding about autism and what it actually means to live with the condition.

“Autism is often a hidden disability which means that you can’t tell that somebody has it by looking at them. So other people’s perception of certain behaviours can be quite hard to deal with.”

By doing the marathon Sarah hopes to create more awareness about autism.

She said: “Awareness is so important because autism is more common than people think. There are over half a million people in the UK with autism, that is around one in 100.

“If you include their families autism touches the lives of two million people every day. Without the right support it can have a profound sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families.

“Creating awareness and getting an early diagnosis is essential for all people with autism as with the right support, intervention, understanding and encouragement all people with autism can make progress and lead the dignified and fulfilled life that they deserve.”

Howdens Kitchens, Bradfords, Devon Tiles, Total Plumbing, and Auto Service Garage have agreed to sponsor Sarah.

To sponsor Sarah and help her reach her goal of raising £1,800 visit www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Wheeler33

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