A woman who feared she would never walk again is preparing to run two marathons in two weeks.

Jocelyn Dodgson has set herself the gruelling challenge to raise as much money as she can for the Brighton Housing Trust.

The 43-year-old slipped two discs in her back eight years ago and was in constant, crippling pain.

She spent hours lying on her back, unable to go up or down stairs, get dressed or even wash herself properly.

With a newborn baby and two other children under five, Mrs Dodgson was left frustrated by feelings of hopelessness and anger.

Her husband Tony, 53, an engineer, and other family members rallied round but Mrs Dodgson began to feel as if she was never going to be well again.

Medics suggested a high risk operation but there was no guarantee of success so Mrs Dodgson decided to try a chiropractor first instead.

Over the next two years she gradually progressed from being hardly able to move at all and being bent and stooped to a gradual easing of pain as her mobility returned.

Mrs Dodgson, from Peacehaven, said: "When I was at my worst I always vowed that if I ever got through this I would run a marathon.

"In 2004 I was well enough to start training and I did my first London Marathon in 2005 in a time of 5 hours and 12 minutes.

"I was totally elated and got the bug and since then have done marathons in Berlin, Iceland and Rome."

Mrs Dodgson is a catering co-ordinator for the housing trust and is a member of a team that trains people to work in the catering industry.

The trust supports the homeless and vulnerable in Brighton and Hove by providing help and guidance to get their lives back on track.

Mrs Dodgson said: "I feel passionately about the project, When I couldn't walk I had days when I had a sense of complete hopelessness.

"That is why I understand the importance of empowering people to make things happen for themselves.

"I want to give homeless mena and women a sense of hope and purpose so they can gain confidence and acquire new skills.

"I know this is a tough challenge and two marathon in two weeks is asking a lot of my body but I have experience in running marathons now.

"I have also had support and advice from my running club and my chiropractor.

"I know the vulnerability of my back and what it can take. I'm always listening to it.

"When I run now and see myself putting one foot in front of the other it gives me a sense of achievement.

"There was a time when I never thought I would be able to do this or even walk down the road but I have managed to get through.

"My approach is not for everyone but it worked for me and I have been exceptionally fortunate."

Mrs Dodgson will be cheered on by her family, which includes her three children Lewis, 14, Ashley, 12 and Ella, nine, during the London Marathon on April 13.

Shortly afterwards she will be heading to Germany for the Hamburg Marathon on April 27.

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