A FIRST-TIME marathon runner was inspired by the everyday struggles of disabled children to undergo the biggest challenge of his life.
Kevin Cousins, of Birkbeck Avenue, Greenford, is attempting to raise £2,000 for the charity Whizz Kids which provides powered wheelchairs and other equipment to help disabled children move around by themselves.
The 29-year-old civil engineer said: "They give children their independence back. My girlfriend is an occupational therapist and I saw the amazing work they do through her. There just isn't the money for this kind of equipment on the NHS but it can really improve lives allowing the children to express themselves, to interact with friends and family when they want without relying on others."
And Mr Cousins has already a taste of how gruelling it will be.
He added: "I'm getting pretty nervous. I had my first 20 mile run two weeks ago and my body has only just recovered, it does funny things to your body."
Visit www.justgiving.com/KEVIN-COUSINS to donate or find out more.
A BIG-HEARTED resident has been putting himself through his paces in a bid to help improve the lives of disabled people.
Juan Quesaba, of Bromyard Avenue, Acton, is raising money for Livability a charity which looks after the needs of the disabled, from improving accessibility in their area to giving one-to-one support to build opportunities and self-respect.
The 34-year-old support worker for Asphaelia, an outreach project for young people, said: "It's amazing what they do, they really make a difference to people's lives, to their families and their communities. The seven months of training has been really hard but now I'm ready and really looking forward to the race."
Yvette Gillingham, events manager at Livability said: "We're delighted that Juan is running in support of the charity. Anyone who would like to support Juan’s fundraising efforts for Livability can email email@example.com ”
ACTOR and voice-over artist Christopher Kent, 49, is running to raise money for the Down's Syndrome Association in memory of his son Cameron, a Down’s Syndrome baby who died aged only six months.
Mr Kent, an actor and voice-over artist from Curzon Road, Ealing, said: "This year Cameron would have celebrated his 15th birthday and it seemed like a good idea to mark it in a positive way.
"He was a sunny, golden and much loved little boy but contracted an infection and died in the Brompton Hospital in February 1996. Throughout his short life we were supported by the very wonderful Down’s Syndrome Association, which continues to provide unstinting support to people with Down’s Syndrome and their families."
Mr Kent, who now has two daughters, Georgia, 12, and Clara, 9, has run a 16 mile race but never a marathon before. He said: "I’m asthmatic, and if somebody had told me I had to run another ten miles after that I think I’d probably have shot myself. However, I promise I will try to drag myself over the finish line one way or another."
Visit www.justgiving.com/chris-londonmarathon-2010 to find out more.