A fourteen-year-old Hampshire boy is raising vital awareness and funds for charity in tribute to his grandad.
Ben Fowler from Hartley Wintney challenged himself to run 75 km every month for three months. The challenge forms part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award but is also in memory of his grandad, who would’ve been 75 this year.
His efforts have already raised over £1000 for Headway – the brain injury association. The UK-wide charity works to improve life after brain injury by providing vital support, advocacy, and information services to brain injury survivors and their families.
In 2001, Ben’s grandad Alan Hamer sustained a life-changing brain injury in a road traffic collision. Headway supported him and his family in the aftermath, as Ben’s mum, Emily, explained: “He was unconscious for nearly six weeks with horrific brain injuries and physical injuries.
"Within a few days, while Dad was in the Neurological Critical Care Unit in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, we were introduced to a lady from Headway.
"She talked us through the realities and practicalities of life with a brain injury survivor. She was kind but honest and helped to prepare us for the long and difficult journey ahead.
Dad spent six weeks in intensive care, a month on a high dependency ward and another couple of months on a rehab unit before coming home and later spent another six months as a day patient in a head injury rehab unit.
Headway helped guide us throughout.
Sadly, Alan passed away earlier this year after an unexpected seizure and stroke. However, despite his sadness, helping others and keeping his grandad’s memory alive helped motivate Ben to do good.
“It feels amazing to have raised such an amazing amount for such a crucial charity for my family,” said Ben. “I’m very proud of the work I’ve done for Headway, and I am hugely grateful to all those that donated.
"Finding the motivation each day to go and run was a massive challenge, but it thankfully didn’t stop me from completing my fundraising goal.”
Despite completing his running challenge and meeting his initial fundraising target, Ben isn’t stopping there because he’s hoping to raise even more money for Headway.
“He’s decided to keep it going and branch out into more awareness raising, doing talks and presentations to local groups and to run fundraising events to keep the donations coming in,” said Emily.
We are very proud of Ben. It was an amazing thing to undertake at such a sad and difficult time. He began running just before Grandad’s funeral, and everyone was so supportive.
You can donate and leave a message of support on his JustGiving page.
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