Gary Pearson

Gary Pearson

Current Location:
Wakefield, West Yorkshire

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This site has been set up to help raise funds for Joseph Hill as part of the 'Stepping Forward for Joseph' Appeal.

Joseph is eight years old, lives in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and has Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy.

Earlier this year, Joseph was offered the opportunity for an operation to allow him to walk unaided.  Sadly, the NHS later decided that the operation could no longer go ahead due to an organisational restructure.

Undeterred, his parents Allan and Angela have started a fundraising campaign to raise the money for the operation to be undertaken and also the considerable amount of intensive physiotherapy Joe will need afterwards to ensure he gets full benefit from the operation and the chance he craves - to be able to run and walk with his school friends.

The campaign so far has been a huge success - so much so that the date for the operation will hopefully be brought forward to October.

But we still need to keep the campaign going to achieve Joe's full fundraising target of 40k - we are three quarters of the way there... we don't want to lose momentum now!!

For my part I want to support Joe and his family as much as people supported my own son Liam when he was five years old.

Liam has profound and multiple learning difficulties, including Autism and Epilepsy.  We knew that early intervention was essential to Liam's development and, with the most incredible love, energy and support of friends and family (and sometimes complete strangers) we raised £25k in little over one year.

That money allowed Liam to visit the world-renowned 'Options' Institute in Massachusetts and undergo intensive one-to-one therapy in a specially adapted room set-up at home, for nearly two years.  Subsequent donations then allowed us to purchase specially-adapted wheelchairs and monitoring equipment for his epilepsy.   While Liam's needs are still profound, anyone who has met him will tell you that he is a very engaging, happy and often quite mischievous young man - very different from the prognosis we received for Liam at five years old and proof of the benefits of the hard work put in by so many people in that period in Liam's younger days.

My fundraising for Joe is centred on completing two endurance events in the space of eight days in September; The Yorkshire 'Tough Mudder' on 7th September, and the Great North Run on the 15th.

The Tough Mudder is self-styled as 'one of the toughest events on the planet', given that it is a 12 mile assault course, lined with formidable obstacles such as the 'Arctic Enema', fire-walking, underwater tunnels, sheer 12 foot walls, and the 'electric eel' challenge.

The Great North Run is a half-marathon (13.1m) and should be a doddle by comparison, but just to make things interesting, I'm going to run the course through Newcastle and South Tyneside wearing the Red and White stripes of my beloved Sunderland football club.  Joe's family are Newcastle supporters who I'm sure will be giving me every encouragement to keep running!

I'm 46 and in 'reasonable nick' but I haven't done two activities of this level together before.  Training has been hard and I will suffer to complete these events, there is no doubt.

What I need back from other people is sponsorship.

Literally, every pound does make a difference as this site will claim back 'gift aid' and my employer will match every pound raised. My target is £585 altogether and - please be assured - every last penny will go to Joe.  He's an absolutely super boy, with a great attitude to his challenges, and his family really deserve the support they are getting.

There's no overheads (I have paid for activity, accomodation and transport costs already) and there are no special t-shirts, post-run massages, etc. to fund.  This is all about getting the sponsors for (hopefully) completing the events, and getting that money to the 'Stepping Forward for Joseph' appeal.

Thanks for your interest - let me know if you have any questions.

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Total money raised so far: £920.00


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