“I decided to run for Asthma UK because for the last 25 years their research has basically kept me alive”

David Gibson will take on the Great North Run for Asthma UK on 11 September

“I first developed asthma about 25 years ago, but I really only got a handle on it in the last eight years, after a big asthma attack.

“I struggled with my asthma through my late teens and twenties purely because I would not go to see my doctor or asthma nurse and I relied on my reliever inhaler far too much. I suppose it was male bravado."

The turning point

“I’m a joiner and I’d been working with cedar wood. I didn’t know it was a trigger at the time, but it triggered a massive asthma attack. It’s the first and only time I’ve been hospitalised with my asthma but that was the point I knew had to get a grip on it. Now I wear a special mask at work to stop me breathing in wood particles."

Working with my asthma nurse

“When I was discharged from hospital I was advised to go and see my asthma nurse. She added a new inhaler to my medicines and this made all the difference. I was also asked to keep a peak flow diary and told to go back and see her if it went below a certain level.

“The support of my asthma nurses was key - without them pushing me to try new medicines I don’t think I would be able to take on this challenge." 

My family inspired me to start running

“I decided to start exercising after picking my daughter up one night from Rainbows. She wanted to race home and she beat me: she was seven and I was a wheezing mess! I complained about not being fit to my wife and she told me there was no time like the present and to get my trainers on and go for a run then and there! So I began running around where I live. I started with a five-minute run every night, and when I could complete it without stopping, I started to extend the distance.

“I tend to go out running at night after the kids are in bed so it does not affect my time with them.  I find having an event to train for is great motivation as it gives you an end date to be ‘race ready’. Now I feel as though I have more energy and I hardly need my reliever inhaler."

See you at the start line!

“I wanted to complete the Great North Run for Asthma UK because for the last 25 years their research has basically kept me alive, and the continuing research can only better my life going forward. I thought it was about time to give something back after they have helped me so much.”