A POLICE officer has vowed to run at least two kilometres a day to help convert the Blackburn home of a colleague who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Det Sgt Chris Williams, 53, is taking on the charity challenge to raise money towards the £35,000 needed to enable colleague 52-year-old Det Sgt Mark Cruise to have adaptations to his home that will help him live the best life he can.

Det Sgt Cruise, who worked as a community cohesion chief in East Lancashire before more recently transferring to Blackpool CID, was diagnosed with MND – a life-limiting, rapidly-progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord – last year.

Det Sgt Cruise, who lives with wife Laura and his two sons, has seen his physical condition deteriorate, and once simple tasks, such as climbing stairs, have now become insurmountable. Major modifications to his house are necessary to allow Det Sgt Cruise and his family to continue to live there.

Since then his colleagues, including Det Sgt Williams, have rallied around to support him.

Det Sgt Williams, who is based at West Division and retires in November, said: “Last November I decided to challenge myself to take on a daily run for the next 300 days to coincide with my retirement from the police service after 30 years. When I learned that my colleague Mark Cruise, Cruisey to his mates, had MND, I decided to try to put my running to good use by raising as much money to help him and his family live the best lives they can.

“Working for the police has given us a sense of belonging and we look at ourselves as extended family to other serving officers and colleagues, and I, along with many other colleagues, are holding events and other activities to raise funds to help Mark and Laura.

“I’m not a natural runner so the challenge I set myself hasn’t come easy, but thinking about what Mark and Laura, and their children must be going through has spurred me on to complete the 300 days.”

To keep people updated on her husband’s condition and to raise awareness of the devastating impact of MND, Laura has set up a Cruiseys Journey Facebook page, where she regularly shares videos.

She said: “It’s hard to put into words the true devastation of MND. The videos I share and the updates I provide are only a snippet into our life. When Mark was diagnosed, I only focused on the terminal aspect of the illness and not the journey leading us to the end. I named the page Cruiseys Journey because that’s what this is. I was never going to call it a fight because it wouldn’t be a fair fight,

“As I sit here now watching a film with our boys having just seen Mark to bed, helped him change and cover him up because he no longer has the strength to do it himself, I cannot believe we live in a world where this illness exists.

“Even though the days are hard and at times the nights endless, I cherish the time I have with him as I am aware I will one day look back and give anything to have him here.”

To support Det Sgt Williams, visit gf.me/u/xc8i66 and to follow Det Sgt Cruise’s journey go to facebook.com/pg/Cruiseys-journey-102566251273700/posts/