Blackheath grandson inspired to run first marathon in memory of beloved grandmother

A 27-year-old ran his first London marathon in memory of his grandmother, who had seven children and 25 grandchildren.

Usman Hussain, from Blackheath, described  Kaneez Begum, who died last November, aged 71, as a wonderful source of inspiration in his family and community.

Kaneez was diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy in 1971.

Usman, who works in Canary Wharf in financial services, said, “My grandma absolutely refused to let the limitations caused by this debilitating condition affect her.

Usman Hussain

“As her mobility became increasingly limited and she was restricted to a wheelchair, her determination to get out and about only grew stronger.

“As a child I never understood the virtue of patience. But my grandmother became a role model like no other as through the years I witnessed her find solace in her devotion to her family.

She found grace and dignity in battling ‘back-to-back’ health issues. Many would have literally lost the will to live, but not my grandma! She was a true fighter, a fighter like no other!

“Many friends and family would come visit her bedside. She never made them feel as if they were visiting an ill person. It was as if her duty was to reverse the attention from herself on to them and make them feel at ease.

“I had the privilege to live with her for 22 years before I moved to London. She was my second mother, my confidant and friend.”

Usman has loved pushing his body to train ahead of his first London Marathon.

His grandad travelled from the north of England to be with him, and give him a ‘big hug’.

He said, “The muscle-wasting condition which my grandma lived with is an inherited genetic condition that causes the muscles to weaken over time.

“Therefore, my family has chosen to support MDUK, and their work as the leading UK charity focusing on muscular dystrophy and other related conditions.

They are dedicated to beating these conditions by finding treatments and cures and to improving the lives of everyone affected by them.

“Ultimately, I am hoping to raise as many funds as possible for Muscular Dystrophy UK for all their amazing work, and to raise as much awareness as possible.”


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