Chris Spriggs had run several big races—marathons, half-marathons—when his uncle was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. His reaction to his uncle’s diagnosis led Chris to places he never imagined. The Reason I Run tells the tale.

Motor neurone disease, a group of diseases the most well-know of which is ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), affects the voluntary muscles of the body and eventually results in death. But before that, MND causes those who suffer from it to lose control of their body. What they could do before the disease is just a memory. So when Andrew Spriggs, runner of 39 marathons, was diagnosed with it, he knew his racing days were over.

But his nephew, Chris, decided to fight that fate. Instead, he started training to run the Brighton Marathon…while pushing Andrew’s wheelchair, giving his uncle one last chance to race. The obstacles were many:  getting permission to push a wheelchair in a race, finding a strategy to keep Andrew secure, training in the rain and the snow, and Chris’ own issues with abandonment and loss. Through it all, the two men persevered, chasing their own personal dreams in the face of overwhelming odds.

The Reason I Run is a first-hand look at one family’s struggle with a horrible disease that transforms their reality. The book is honest, and doesn’t pull any punches with the truth of MND, but will also inspire readers, both the runners and those who do not run.

(Galley provided by Summersdale via NetGalley.)