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Businessman takes on extra Great North Run challenge for Norfolk man

Chris O'Flaherty suffers from motor neurone disease. He is in training  for the Great North Run.

Chris O'Flaherty suffers from motor neurone disease. He is in training for the Great North Run.

Archant © 2011

Running a half-marathon is an impressive achievement in itself, but one businessman has taken on the challenge of also pushing a Norfolk man’s wheelchair around the course of the Great North Run to raise funds for charity.

"When I first met Chris I was thrown by his unimaginable tragedy, but I was humbled by his strength, courage and determination to stay positive in such desperate circumstances. "

Ed Douglas Miller

Ed Douglas Miller, managing director of eco-manufacturing company Remarkable, will be running while helping to push Chris O’Flaherty’s wheelchair around the Gateshead course on Sunday, September 18.

Chris, now aged 33, from Costessey, was left heartbroken after both his mother and brother died of motor neurone disease (MND) and now he is also battling with the incurable condition himself.

Chris, pictured, is determined to raise vital funds and awareness about the disease which has so far devastated his life.

His older brother Richard was the first person within the family to be diagnosed with the disease, which involves the progressive wasting of muscles, and was only in his mid-20s when he died. Their mother, Patricia Birkett-Stubbs, also died from MND three years ago, before she reached the age of 60.

Chris has been told that he is suffering from a slower form of MND and says that he takes each day as it comes. Enjoying a normal childhood with his family in the Chedgrave and Loddon area, he was in his 20s when he started having problems with walking.

The Norwich and Waveney branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) has been very supportive to the family, part funding Chris’s wheelchair and mobility vehicle.

Worcestershire-based Remarkable’s managing director and eco-inventor Ed Douglas Miller is one of the people helping Chris around the course.

He said: “When I first met Chris I was thrown by his unimaginable tragedy, but I was humbled by his strength, courage and determination to stay positive in such desperate circumstances.

“I would be so grateful if members of the public could support me, as I run the half-marathon to raise money for Chris, so that he can realize his goal and give funds to MNDA for all the support they have given to him and his family.”

Donate to Ed’s fundraising at www.justgiving.com/ed-douglas-miller or email edm@remarkable.co.uk. For more about MND go to www.mndassociation.org

Are you raising money for charity? Call Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk


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