06 Feb Our run is a thanks to charity for helping Ben
FAMILY fundraisers will be taking on a 13.1 mile challenge to help the charity that provided a lifeline to youngster Benjamin Friedrichsen.
The 14-year-old, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was able to buy an adapted trike thanks to a grant from the Chronicle Sunshine Fund which made a huge difference to his life.
Benjamin, who has cerebral palsy, wasn’t able to ride a two-wheeled bike so the trike enabled him to get out and about with his friends.
Now, three members of his family have decided to tackle the Bupa Great North Run later this year as a way of saying thank you to the charity.
Paul Freeman, Benjamin’s stepdad, said: “The Great North Run as we all know is a fantastic sporting event, one which I’ve never had the opportunity to participate in mainly because of other sporting commitments.
“Having the opportunity to take part in this year’s event for the very first time will no doubt stay with me the rest of my life, but what makes it extra special for me is that I get to raise money for the Chronicle Sunshine Fund.
“I approached the Sunshine Fund for a GNR place as my stepson, Benjamin, has received funding some years ago to provide him with an adapted trike.
“He has cerebral palsy and is unable to ride a two-wheeled bike. The Sunshine Fund provided the funding, which enabled Benjamin to get a trike that he could ride independently and go out with his friends on.
“Having his trike gave him a great boost in confidence and we have seen the benefits this has made to him personally. By raising funds for the Sunshine Fund through the GNR, I hope another family can benefit the way Benjamin has from this brilliant charity.”
Paul will be running alongside his dad, Alan , and Benjamin’s uncle Neil Johnson.
Alan added: “I completed my first GNR at the age of 40, raising money for my local junior football club, but mainly running for my own personal achievement.
“Over the past 20 years I have run a number of times but decided to hang up my trainers a couple of years ago.
“When I found out that my son was intending to run on behalf of the Chronicle Sunshine Fund, as a gesture of thanks for the help they gave in providing Benjamin with specialist equipment, I felt I had to come out of retirement for one last time.
“I hope the money we raise collectively will allow the Sunshine Fund to help other disabled children in the North East, as it helped Benjamin.”