Runner with severe disease shows value of life

By Daqiong and Palden Nyima in Lhasa | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-01 16:48
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Jin Ge has run nearly 4,000 kilometers from Beijing to Lhasa, Tibet, over the last four months and finally arrived on Monday morning.

Jin, 41, has ankylosing spondylitis — an inflammatory disease that can fuse spinal vertebrae. He was diagnosed in 2015. Since then, he has undergone a difficult mental process, starting with disbelief and self-doubt but moving on to acceptance of reality, active treatment and reestablishing confidence.

In 2016, he started running and reaped many benefits. As a patient who has been struggling for years, Jin has always hoped to do something for other patients like him. To show what is possible, he set out on June 6 on a run from Beijing to Lhasa.

During his long journey, he crossed Beijing and the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai and the Ningxia Hui and Tibet autonomous regions.

He recorded his long journey in a diary, teaching people about the disease along the way. He hopes more people will pay attention and understand.

"As a patient myself, I suffered from this disease for almost six years, and I am doing the long-distance run for a good cause," said Jin. He hopes to raise public awareness.

"I am also doing this for fundraising. I have already established a charity foundation for AS patients, and I want to establish a trust to support them, especially for those who have very low incomes," he said.

Through his running, Jin wants to show the value of life. He has been writing the story of his fight against ankylosing spondylitis together with others who also suffer from the disease.

In the future, he said, he will take a break and then switch from running mode to charity operation mode.

"I will spend more time fundraising and organizing sports and charity events to help AS patients," he said.

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