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Norfolk father-of-three preparing to become first paralysed man to walk London Marathon

Paralysed singer Simon Kindleysides at the Eastern Daily Press and Radio Norfolk launch  Norfolk Day in Dereham's Market Place, in his exoskeleton suit which he is hoping to walk the London marathon in. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Paralysed singer Simon Kindleysides at the Eastern Daily Press and Radio Norfolk launch Norfolk Day in Dereham's Market Place, in his exoskeleton suit which he is hoping to walk the London marathon in. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A father-of-three from Norfolk hopes to become the first paralysed man to walk the London marathon.

Simon Kindleysides, from Blofield, will walk the 26-mile course in April using the Rewalk exoskeleton suit.

He said the challenge would be likely to take him 35 hours, with a pace of roughly 52 minutes a mile.

Mr Kindleysides - who, in January, was chosen to be a judge on BBC One’s Saturday night singing contest All Together Now - was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder and a glioma brain tumour in 2013.

But the 33-year-old has been determined not let his paralysis hold him back - in 2015 he hand cycled from London to Paris and raised more than £5,000 for charity.

His latest challenge will see him become the first paralysed man to walk the marathon. The suit is powered by a backpack battery and controlled by a remote on the wearer’s wrist, which detects and enhances their movements, though it is the user who is doing the walking.

Mr Kindleysides, who is being sponsored by PhysioFunction, said: “It will take me about 35 to 37 hours with my team to walk the marathon. I can walk a mile in about 52 minutes.

“It’s going to be very gruelling but it’s very exciting. I’m raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity because I have a brain tumour myself so it’s close to my heart, and I’m excited to do it.”

On his online fundraising page, he said: “I want to be a huge role model not just to my children but to others out there who are disabled and don’t get enough credit and to people who don’t think they can do stuff.”

Mr Kindleysides has raised thousands of pounds for charity, busks in Norwich city centre and even appeared on Channel 4’s cooking competition Come Dine With Me.

His role on All Together Now saw his become one of 99 talented singers who make up the judging panel.

For his London Marathon fundraiser, Mr Kindleysides has so far raised more than £1,500. To donate, click here.

• Do you know of someone doing something inspirational that we should be writing about? Let us know by emailing lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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