A woman suffering from a connective tissue condition which affects nearly every part of her body will attempt to take on the London Marathon this weekend.
Lara Bloom, of Fair Close, Bushey, suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a crippling condition which can cause most of her joints to dislocate on a daily basis.
Despite her obvious physical frailties, the 31-year-old is determined to attempt Sunday's race to raise awareness off the debilitating symptoms.
"It affects my tendons, ligaments, muscles, arteries and heart valves, but the symptoms can be sporadic," she said. "It is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood."
Lara will be raising money for the EDS Support Group, a charity she now works at having been diagnosed at the age of 24.
Training has posed a problem for Lara, but she has been building up the muscles in her legs since October to fight the effects the strenuous exercise will have on her bones and joints.
"When I walk, everything hurts, but I have an incredibly strong mind," she said. "I see it as a daily battle and I like to win it. The marathon is just another fight."
It is thought Lara will be the first person with EDS to have ever taken on the marathon, and she will be in the hands of the condition when she wakes up on the day.
She explained: "I have woken up with a dislocated shoulder before - it could happen again. If I can do something that makes people understand what EDS is, it will be worth it ten fold."
Lara has raised more than £6,000 so far and is hoping to reach £10,000 by the time her fundraising is finished.
The money will go to the charity and be used to raise awareness of the condition and to help find a cure.