A SCHOOL teacher who lives with an incurable chronic condition is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for charity by tackling the country’s biggest running event.

During the Christmas of 2013, Mark St Claire, of Clacton, started to feel extremely sick, was suffering with a fever, and was unable to move.

He ended up spending five days in hospital over New Year where he endured blood tests, an endoscopy and a biopsy before being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

Doctors were initially concerned that Mr St Claire had got bowel cancer, which can develop as a result of colitis, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.

More than five years later, the Colchester Academy science teacher is now in remission, but has to take medication every day to keep damming symptoms at bay.

If he didn’t, he could experience cramping in his abdomen, severe fatigue, a fever, loss of weight, inflammation of the intestine and even diarrhoea.

Speaking about his diagnosis and condition, Mr St Claire said: “It did feel quite scary, especially considering cancer was mentioned, but I was relived that it wasn’t cancer.

“I felt down and out, and I didn’t want to share the news because of the stigma attached to Ulcerative Colitis.

“It is a chronic condition which has no cure and so I do experience daily stomach pain from the inflammation.”

Determined Mr St Claire, who is an avid runner, is now hoping to give something back to Crohn’s and Colitis, which provided him with support as he came to terms with his condition.

The charity was founded in 1979 and is an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of, and helping those who have, inflammatory bowel diseases.

The fundraiser is now gearing up to tackle the London Marathon next year, but has to generate at least £2,000 in donations.

He said: “I am all about raising awareness and supporting the charity however I can because they have helped me.

“I am running the London Marathon and I will be running various half marathons in the lead up as part of my training.

“I have managed to get a charity place, which means I need to raise £2,000, or I will have to pay the shortfall myself.

“I am trying to raise as much money as possible though, through the generosity of the public who will hopefully help me hit my target.

“My school has been very supportive, and we have been selling badges and wristbands.

“Red Letter Days, Baccus, Rollerworld and Next have also donated prizes for a raffle I am holding in February.”

To sponsor Mr St Claire, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/markstclairelondon.