Meet our supporters – Susanna runs the Madrid Marathon

Susanna ran the Madrid Marathon in 2015 to fundraise for South London and Maudsley (SLaM) in thanks for the treatment she received there for anorexia.

Soon after receiving her A-level results during the summer of 2011, Susanna was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and admitted to Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham. She was an inpatient for two months and became a Step-up outpatient until December of that year.

The Step-up to recovery programme supports service users to build their independence by helping them take more personal responsibility for their health, social and emotional life through group therapies and planned activities.

Supportive environment

‘Alongside the standard treatment, I was pleasantly surprised with all of the extra support available and activities to take mine and the other patients’ minds off things – from art therapy, pottery classes and yoga – which is so important in the recovery process,’ she recalls.

In 2015, Susanna was studying for a mathematics degree and as part of her course, spent a year in Madrid.

‘With it being so difficult to get a place for the London Marathon, when the opportunity came up to run a marathon in Madrid, I took it. I wanted a new challenge and it has definitely been just that!’

‘After all the amazing services that I was provided with, I wanted to give something back,’ says Susanna

Focusing on the finish line

Susanna completed the marathon in an amazing four hours and six minutes, despite injury and torrential rain!

She is still running and credits it is one of the main factors to her recovery. She was discharged from all services five years ago and graduated with a first class honours  in Mathematics from Imperial College London, despite having to defer her university place by a year for her treatment.

‘I am now training to become an Actuary and am enjoying all of the opportunities that life is bringing to me, and how it feels to live with a free mind!’ she says ‘I am very proud of my achievements and all of the support that I received.’

Find out how you can take part in an event and fundraise for SLaM, just like Susanna.