Ben & david's story 


Age: David, 40; Ben, 4

Home: Reigate, Surrey

Profession: David: freelance journalist; Ben: about to start his reception year at school

Parallel challenge: 100m

David: Ben was born 11 weeks prematurely. He contracted an infection a few days after he was born that caused bleeding on the brain, and left him with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

We were given dire warnings about Ben's prospects, but he has consistently exceeded everyone's expectations. He is the most determined, happy and sociable little boy you could ever meet. He cannot safely sit unaided, but he loves walking and playing football in his walker (a Leckey Kidwalk, distributed by VIDA).

The Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity has been a big part of our lives for the past two-and-a-half years. Ben has attended weekly sessions provided by the charity with me or his mum, Jennie. He called it his 'special school'. Over that time, Ben has grown hugely in confidence, he has become physically stronger and he has learned so much. The charity has helped me enormously, too, and has been very supportive as I have found my way as the parent of a disabled child.

Why choose Parallel? Ben's weekly sessions at DVLCC have now come to an end as he's starting at a mainstream school with one-to-one support in September. So, I wanted to find a way to say thank you to them for all their wonderful support and Parallel London seemed like the perfect event to do so. Instead of me or his mum fundraising on Ben's behalf, we can enter the Push/Run together.

It means a lot to our family that Ben will be taking part, not watching from the side-lines!

Top training strategy: He'll be in his Leckey Kidwalk almost every day training for the event, cheered on by his mum, his sister (Leah) and me.

We've been amazed by the amount raised so far. We first posted the link on Facebook to our JustGiving page Tuesday lunchtime. Less than 36 hours later the running total was over £900. We’re now up to an amazing £1,521.89!

To make a donation to Ben’s fundraising page visit on their logo on their find out more...