Most people say they would go the extra mile for their friends, but one man has taken it to the next level.
When James Salisbury’s family friend Laura Green, 33, was diagnosed with a large cyst on her tailbone two years ago that left her confined to a wheelchair, it seemed like there was no hope.
After extensive research and networking, Laura may have found a solution in the form of a Californian pain management specialist, but the treatment will not come cheap.
Angmering-based James, 36, and his friend Andrew Hancock got together in the pub and, after a few beers, set themselves the challenge of running the 250 miles from James’ cricket club in Broadwater to Andrew’s in Bolton – in 10 days.
“Seeing her in a wheel chair and seeing the kids and husband struggle has been a big driver,” said James, who has been running up to 60 miles a week to prepare for the challenge.
“I’m nervous and excited. Sometimes I question why I’m doing it but the ordeal is nothing compared to what they are going through.
“To be 33 in a wheelchair is not fun and that’s the main driver for me.”
Laura and her husband, Chris, have two children aged four and six and James said the demands placed on them by Laura’s treatment have been challenging.
The GoFundMe page says she is forced to take a ‘cocktail of strong painkillers and various drugs’ every day and that her children have only ever known their mum as being poorly.
James and Andrew have set a target of £20,000, with a percentage also going to local charity Cancer United.
Cancer United has provided a minibus for the trip and James said hotels across the country have been supportive in allowing them to stay for free.
With a marathon a day, recovery will be important so they have had to use hotels with spas and swimming pools.
“Mentally, I don’t know how I’m doing, but physically I’m trying my best,” said James.
“The fact that I am running it with my friend really helps.
“Since we started, some people with the same condition have got in touch with Laura and that’s great.”
From Broadwater, the pair will make their way up to Billingshurst in their first marathon. From there, they head north west to Aldershot before continuing their way north.
Donations can be made at uk.gofundme.com/laurajgreen and the duo will provide updates through Facebook and Twitter at ‘Challenge 10 in 10’.