A RUNNER has gone the extra 48 miles to help bring his friend’s dream of attending music festivals and going on holidays to life.
James White put his best foot forward across Solihull and completed 48 miles in 48 hours to help pay for a specially adapted campervan for his school friend Joe ‘Lockers’ Lockington, who was left paralysed when he was just 14.
His route was inspired by his friendship with Lockers as he set off from Langley Secondary School where they went and along the roads where he and his childhood friends grew up.
And Lockers was supporting him every step of the way.
James said: “I visited Joseph after my first run, which was 10 miles in total, and from then on we were in contact a lot over the weekend.
“Joseph and his family and friends sent through messages of support and encouragement, as well as donations to the fundraiser, which kept me really motivated and inspired throughout.
“Every time I speak to him I admire his strength and it’s a reminder of what he’s been through, but more importantly, how much he deserves.”
Lockers was also waiting for him when he crossed the finish line at the Sharman’s Cross Pub in Shirley.
James said he has raised £9,000 for the cost of the van, which he said can cost between £50,000 and £100,000.
He said: “I’m pleased with the total and humbled by the kindness that the cause has received, but I’m also hopeful we can continue to raise more, and I’m determined to help make a further difference if and where we can.
“We will continue researching and looking for opportunities to raise funds for him, and we’re hopeful that we can help to fund a van/vehicle or at least some holidays and adventures that Joseph can enjoy and cherish.”
In 2012 Lockers was rushed to hospital after he suffered a spinal stroke which caused paralysis from the neck down as well as leaving him unable to breathe without the help of a ventilator.
After spending almost 18 months in Birmingham Children’s Hospital the avid rock music fan headed back home to Solihull where he had to adapt to his new life needing 24 hour care.
James said the group are considering organising a charity football match for the next fundraising event and urge any clubs in and around Solihull would be interested in supporting that to get in touch.
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