Running for Support Dogs: A different kind of personalized medicine

Shilpa Haridas of Diaceutics after completing the Great North Run in aid of Ruby and Support Dogs.

When it came to accepting a challenge, Shilpa Haridas, Director of Operations at Diaceutics, went for the ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach and willingly signed up for the Great North Run in September 2017. This iconic event takes place in the North East of England and is now the world’s largest half marathon.

Shilpa had always enjoyed running and found it to be a calming activity but had never run the 13.1 mile distance before. So when colleague Andrea Jack suggested she run for the charity Support Dogs, how could she say no? After all, Andrea’s own support dog, Ruby, is a valued and much loved member of the Diaceutics team and we know what a difference she has made to everyday life for Andrea, who has psoriatic arthritis. Shilpa considered it an honour to run for such a good cause, but then she realised what she’d actually agreed to do.

Training got off to a good start but was interrupted by a period of frequent travel as Shilpa supported Diaceutics’ pharma clients. So when she was able to return to serious training in July there wasn’t much time left. However, everything went to plan and the weekend before the big race she completed her first 10 mile run.

For Shilpa, the Great North Run was an amazing experience. The support from not only the crowds but the other runners was truly uplifting, with runners encouraging each other along the course and even slowing down to keep pace with anyone struggling. She had hoped to complete the run in 2.5 hours but, after picking up an injury in the eighth mile, she bravely continued to a very impressive first time finish of 3 hours 3 minutes.

“It was a fantastic thing to be involved with, and even though I’d thought of it as a once in a lifetime event, I’d gladly do it again next year”, said Shilpa. Inspired by her first big race, she’s also hoping to run the Sheffield half marathon in 2018, again for Support Dogs – seeing as she raised a whopping £1000 they are bound to want her on their fundraising team.

Shilpa continues, “Support Dogs do fantastic work and can change people’s lives. Diaceutics works with pharma clients to help them integrate diagnostic tests for diseases such as epilepsy, an area in which a trained dog can be of huge benefit. It’s a different kind of personalized medicine than we usually encounter in a working day, but one where the effects are transforming.”

Well done Shilpa, from everyone at Diaceutics.

For more information on Ruby and the work of Support Dogs, click here:

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