NTDC Manager raises funds for genetic research

By 25th August 2022 August 28th, 2022 Blog

Centre Manager, Sara Bacon, runs the Sheffield 10k

NTDC Manager, Sara Bacon, is running the Sheffield 10k next month to support genetic disease research at the University of Sheffield (UoS).

Sara is running the race in memory of her dad, Frank Ryan, who passed away in 2016 from Creutfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD), a rare and fatal brain condition.

People with CJD experience progressive loss of brain function and mobility, and in most cases die within a year of the symptoms starting.

It is estimated that rare diseases may affect up to 10% of the world’s population. 1 in 17 people in the UK are affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives. 

Genetic disease research at the UoS is helping to give hope to families desperately seeking treatment for their loved ones. Scientists at the university have helped to develop gene therapy treatments for babies with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. They have also discovered a way of engineering bespoke genes to replace or silence a faulty one.

Sara, who studied her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and PhD in Bio-inorganic Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, has a fundraising goal of £150. She said:I think that genetic research is crucial to finding a cure for so many diseases that people suffer from. 

“Doing my bit to support fundraising for this important research is my only way to help.”

Sara started running 18 years ago after the birth of her second child as a way of getting back into shape. She said: “Running, now, and especially during lockdown, was critical for my physical and mental well being. I always feel better after a run and I love listening to music and blocking out the ‘to-do’ lists in my head.”

Sara signed up for her first half marathon last year, raising funds for the UoS’ charity. Although finding the race “a massive challenge”, she was proud to have completed it. Sara is continuing her support by running this year’s 10k with her colleagues, including NTDC Operations Manager, Jared Carnie.

Sara is looking forward to the upcoming 10k, as she states,the atmosphere of the course in Sheffield city centre is immense.” She is preparing by training in the gym and taking part in local park runs to improve her pace.

Having previously completed the Sheffield half marathon, Sara advises anyone new to long-distance running to join up with a friend or colleague because “anything you do is an achievement.”


The Sheffield 10k takes place on 25th September. To support Sara in achieving her fundraising target, donate here.