A FATHER-of-two from Stratford-upon-Avon who completed the London Marathon on a broken leg is now climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise over £4,000 for the National Autistic Society (NAS).
Darren Oliver, whose 11-year old son Ryan has Asperger syndrome, is starting his climb of the world’s highest free-standing mountain next Wednesday (2nd October).
Covering nearly 3,000 feet per day, he’s taking on the challenge a year after completing the London Marathon despite fracturing his leg just one mile into the race.
He attributes that incredible fight through the pain barrier - which featured on the front page of the Herald - to his running partner, Garry James, who was recovering from a broken neck and two hip replacements.
Darren said: “To get people talking about autism in 2013 I knew I needed to do something even bigger than the London Marathon, so when my running partner Garry mentioned climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I signed up immediately.
“When my son was first diagnosed at three-years-old, I didn’t know much about autism and struggled to understand what he was going through.”
Darren is raising money for the National Autistic Society, who have helped him ever since Ryan was diagnosed.
“Now my son’s a bit older, he’s starting to realise he’s different from a lot of other children his age and awareness has been key in helping them to accept him for who he is and to make adjustments for him,” he said.
There are around 700,00 people in the UK with autism, and the NAS has been helping them for over 50 years, but as a charity, it relies on donations and fundraising efforts like Darren’s.
Darren said: “The scale of the challenge is finally starting to dawn on me. What will keep me going, even at the hardest point, is the thought of celebrating the achievement with Ryan and the whole family.”
To sponsor him visit www.justgiving.com/Darren-Oliver7
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