Hello, my name is Jack and I am running the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018 with my brother, Ben.
I am 25 years old and I am autistic, living semi-independently with 16 hours of care a week.
My life is very active. Although I enjoy my own company, I also spend a lot of time riding and looking after my horse, Lucy. I also have a dog called Molly.
My brother, Ben, ran the London Marathon in 2015 to raise money for Mencap, and it was soon after this that I decided I wanted to do the same. In the last couple of years I have enjoyed running, and I am getting really good at it. I can run for miles and never look tired - which annoys Ben!
The one thing I struggle with is being around people. I like people, but not a lot at the same time, even if I know them well. It can be very overwhelming.
When I left college, I moved into an assisted living flat in Newbury, which was run by Mencap. At the time I lacked confidence and struggled with day to day living and communicating with people, especially those I had never met before. But, the team that worked with me (and still do) really helped, and I have become much happier and more confident. I have since moved into my own house, and live semi-independently with 16 hours of care a week.
This support enables me to do my shopping, help with cooking and trying new recipes, general day to day living and more importantly, going to the gym, golfing range and having a fun time with my carers who I now see as my friends.
Mencap has supported me over the years and now I am much more independent and more confident with life each day.
I recently joined a local running club which I get excited about attending each week. Running the London Marathon will be a step out of my comfort zone as I find it difficult to be in crowds, but having Ben with me will help, as he will support me to run with thousands of people alongside me.
Take a look at our JustGiving page for updates on how we're getting on with our £2000 fundraising target. It would be great if you could help to raise money for Mencap so other young people, like me, get the most out of their lives too!
Thank you for your support!
Find out more
Have you been inspired by Jack and Ben's story?
If so, there are lots of ways you can get involved with #TeamMencap to support people with a learning disability and their families.
Unfortunately all places for this year's London Marathon have sold out, however we have lots of other events which you can take part in. Take a look here.