IT’S a charity run which could be his first and last, doctors have warned.
But that isn’t stopping an East Preston man from overcoming a physical disability and raising vital funds for a charity close to his heart.
Rob Dunne, 26, will be joining thousands of other fundraisers to take part in the Great South Run, in Portsmouth, on Sunday, October 27.
Rob, of Selborne Way, suffers from talipes, which means his right foot is three sizes smaller than his left – making long distance running a punishing ordeal.
“This is where your feet and tendons don’t form properly when you’re in the womb,” he explained. “So training has been really difficult.
“The impact on the feet is causing massive strain on the joints and my ankles.
“I’m getting about halfway round and it’s giving me real hell. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any cure for it. I consulted with doctors to see what could be done and they told me that this will probably be my first and last run. But I’m really determined to finish it.”
Rob, who works for railway operator Southern, is raising funds for the Brain and Spine Foundation – a charity which has helped his father, Mick.
“Five years ago, my father had an abnormal joining of the blood vessels within his spinal cord between the shoulder blades,” Rob said. “The technical term is a dural arteriovenous fistula or DAVF. The condition is rare and can occur anywhere in the spinal cord or occasionally within the brain.
“The ‘cure’ requires surgery within the spinal cord to repair the blood vessels. The consequence of a late diagnosis and late surgery – as his was – is spinal cord damage and paraplegia or partial paraplegia.
“There is no recovery from the paraplegia as nerves and nerve connections are damaged slowly as the illness progresses and also during the operation.”
Rob hopes to raise £600 for charity. He will be running with friend Daniel O’Brian, of Felpham.
To sponsor him, see www.justgiving.com/Rob-dunne