Ripon grandma on mission to run 30k for charity despite recovering from heart failure

A 75 year old grandma from Ripon has started a mammoth mission to clock up 30k for charity – despite never running before in her life.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 12:52 pm

Joy Kalus, who suffers from severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is recovering from viral heart failure and has disabling osteoarthritis. But she is determined to do the challenge, which she aims to complete in less than 30 days by running laps of Ripon Rugby Field.

The former NVQ Assessor for British Rail has two daughters and is grandmother to three boys, aged ten, 13 and 21.

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75-year-old Joy Kalus is running 30km for charity despite facing health problems.

She said : “Child abuse has many levels. From neglect, psychological abuse, physical abuse. It affects every single one and history has shown how silence has acted like a cancer resulting in mental illness across our nation.

“I am just an old lady rattling on to do her best. I can only trot about 25 steps at a time at a time before I start flapping my arms so I look like I am taking off. Osteoarthritis has made most of my joints swell. So everything is rattling and crackling as I move.”

No stranger to child related charities, Joy flew to Brazil at the age of 65 to volunteer with street children and orphanages.

She said: “I did my first 2k on Monday, I’ve never run before but that isn’t going to stop me. It’s more of a trot because I can’t breathe well, but I always tell my daughters they can do anything if they are determined enough. So can I. I don’t care how old I am, or what illnesses I am suffering from. Even if it takes me all year I’ll get there. The discomfort is a fraction of what some children go through and every step I take it a step nearer to my goal, which is to protect as many children from abuse as I can.”

Daughter Lisa Bradley, 43, added :”Both my sister Suzanne and I are so unbelievably proud. Our mum has always been a force to be reckoned with. When she first told me I thought she was mad, but she laced up her trainers and off she went. She really is our inspiration.”

So far Joy has raised more than £350, smashing her £120 target in just a few days.