Today is the first day of National Epilepsy Awareness week. A good time to mention that yesterday an ex Farlingaye High School student – 19 year old Ben Greenhouse from Woodbridge – ran the Great Wall Marathon in China to raise awareness of epilepsy and funds for the charity Epilepsy Action.
He was the youngest runner to take part.
The Great Wall is one of the world’s most challenging marathons – not only 26 miles, but taking in 5,164 steep stone steps as well. The times are therefore much slower than those of road marathons that are run in towns.
“I had never run a marathon before, but I came 163rd out of 850 runners doing the full marathon, with a time of 5h37 mins” says Ben. “Thanks to the generosity of many friends in Suffolk I’ve already raised more than my initial target on £1000 for Epilepsy Action.
But today is the start of National Epilepsy Week and every £ is vital. Can you help me raise even more?
Epilepsy Action raises awareness of epilepsy and supports people who have it – people like my sister who needs to have someone with her all the time because she can’t be safe on her own.”
For the last six months Farlingaye High School student Ben has been enrolled at the Qufu Shaolin Kung fu school, learning traditional Chinese martial arts. “The training was quite intense. They worked us hard for hours every day, and we often had to run 1000 stone steps up the nearby mountain. And then another 1,000 down again afterwards. It was very different from Woodbridge – but good training for the marathon,” says Ben.
“1% of the population – 1 person in every hundred – has epilepsy. There must be 70 or so people with epilepsy in Woodbridge alone. It’s a life-changing condition – but with your help it doesn’t have to be life-diminishing!”
You can sponsor Ben via his Justgiving page http://www.justgiving.com/Ben-Greenhouse
(Caroline Page: I have to declare two personal interests here: firstly, I am myself one of the 1% who have epilepsy. Secondly, Ben is my son. I am justly proud of him)