EMPLOYEES at a software systems company will be taking part in the Sage Reading Half Marathon on Sunday (March 17) to raise money for a colleague with a rare brain condition.

Those working at InterSystems UK are hoping to raise £30,000 to build an assisted bedroom and wet room for Tom Spencer, who joined the company as a sales engineer in 2011.

The father-of-three has been diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a condition caused by the premature loss of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain.

It leads to loss of balance, movement, vision, speech and swallowing.

As well as raising money for Tom, his colleagues are also planning to raise awareness of the condition by running a series of marathons, called ‘The Tomathon’.

The 10 runners will take part in the Sage Reading Half Marathon, which follows a successful first outing for the runners at the Portsmouth Marathon in December.

Duncan Allen, sales manager at InterSystems UK, is calling on the healthcare IT community who know Tom, or can empathise with his family situation, to support the cause where possible.

He said: "We are a group of 10 friends, supporters and colleagues who simply wanted to find a way to help.

"I had the privilege of working closely with Tom for several years.

"Such was his ability and integrity that he became a trusted adviser to many NHS customers, particularly in the southwest of England.

"He combines great technical skills with great communication skills and an ability to get on with nearly everybody.

"There are many quotes on our crowdfunder site but one which sums him up so well is: ‘You have always brought optimism, good cheer, and cleverness to everyone around you.'"