A BRAVE woman from Reading will be running the London Marathon to raise money for epilepsy.

Fiona Burt's sister Jennifer has suffered from seizures since she was born.

Fiona said it was the norm to be in and out of hospital and that seeing Jennifer having violent seizures was an everyday experience.

On July 1 1995, aged just 19 months, Jennifer went into status epileptics, convulsing constantly for one hour and 45 minutes.

Her family were frightened she wouldn’t survive the night but she did – however she survived permanent brain damage and six months of blindness, and is now 25 and living in a residential home.

In 2010, eight years after Jennifer’s last seizure, Fiona started experiencing ‘episodes’ she struggled to describe.

She said they felt like a literal brainwave and left her feeling confused, drowsy and nauseous.

Two years later, doctors diagnosed her with epilepsy.

She has several different kinds of seizures and says the period after coming round from them is as bad as the seizures themselves.

Fiona kept her epilepsy a secret from most people for eight years, and said the impact it has had on her and her family is the ‘understatement of the century’.

She said: "When I was diagnosed, two things I was told I could no longer do were running and cycling as they involved me being out alone.

"Take away my driving, fine, but I need to run and cycle to get about.

"I’m not letting this condition take over my life.

"By running the marathon I can prove that I have epilepsy, but epilepsy does not have me, while raising money for an excellent cause very close to mine and my family's heart.

"Epilepsy Action's information was a great help to me when I was first diagnosed, and helped me to come out of several years of denial I was also suffering from the condition that had dominated my childhood and effectively stolen my sister.

"I want to ensure those who have similar experiences are not left alone in the dark any longer."

To donate, visit Fiona's Just Giving page here.