A Stockbridge resident whose mother died of an immune system illness is training to run the London Marathon to help fund the fight against the condition.

Carl Whale, 32, hopes to raise at least £1,000 to donate to the charity Lupus UK. His mother, Avis Turner, died from the illness in May 2012, aged 55.

Mr Whale, who has run one previous marathon for the same good cause, said: “Lupus imitates other illnesses, which is why it can take so long to diagnose.

“It took three years for my mum to be diagnosed, so this is something that needs to be more widely recognised.”

He is being supported by his sister, Mandy Whale, 37, and his brother Craig, 35, who also live in Keighley.

According to Lupus UK, the illness may affect about 50,000 people in Britain. Ninety per cent of sufferers are women.

Miss Whale, from Long Lee, said her mum had Lupus for many years. “It causes the body to attack itself, and it affects different parts of the body,” she said. “It is possible to live with the disease, but it has to be managed properly with medicine.

“My mum had joint pains, shortness of breath that meant she could hardly walk, a rash on her face and extreme fatigue, no matter how much sleep she got. She was on medication all the time.

“Everyone who has Lupus is affected by it differently, and we feel it’s important to get the awareness of it out there.”

Carl Whale lives in Aireworth Grove and works at Argos in Bradford. He completed a marathon in Chester in 2012, despite being plagued by injury.

“I’ve started my training – I’ve got a half-marathon coming up at the end of February and also a couple of 10ks,” he said.

“If I finish the London Marathon in under four hours, I’ll be happy with that.”

People can sponsor Mr Whale’s effort via his page on the Justgiving fundraising website.