Lorna and James Brokenshire-Dyke, from Newmarket, set a new Guinness World Record (awaiting official verification) for Fastest Three Legged Marathon (mixed pair) at yesterday’s London Marathon. They ran to raise money for the registered charity Tree of Hope, who are helping them fundraise for their two year old son Seb to have life changing surgery so that he can walk and hopefully one day run too.
In May 2014, at just 15 months old, Seb was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP) spastic diplegia. He has difficulties with muscle control, balance and coordination. His legs have a tendency to be stiff and go rigid in extension, particularly when he is tired or working hard. This makes simple things, such as crawling, cruising and even sitting, very difficult for him. He is not yet able to stand or walk independently. Seb is one of twins and he would love to be able to do all of the things his twin brother Solomon can, the things we all take for granted such as walking, jumping, splashing in puddles, kicking a football.
Seb’s family are raising £70,000 to pay for a procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which will remove or reduce the spasticity in his legs so that he can move more freely. The money raised will pay for the surgery, aftercare, a prolonged course of intensive physiotherapy and any specialist equipment he might need. Currently this procedure is not routinely funded on the NHS.
Lorna and James decided to run a three legged marathon to raise awareness of their son’s condition by disabling their own legs in a way that is similar to how CP disables his legs. His mother Lorna said “Our son has Cerebral Palsy spastic diplegia. We have been told by adults affected by this condition that the feeling of tightness (spasticity) in their legs is a bit like rubber bands constantly holding back their full range of motion. In support of our son’s daily struggles to do even the simplest of things, we wanted to disable our legs in the way that his are.”Seb’s father James said “This was our first marathon, neither of us are runners but we wanted to take on an immense challenge to match his own difficult journey for mobility. The Guinness World Records set us a target of 4 hours and 30 minutes and we didn’t really believe it was possible as we haven’t been able to sustain that pace in training. On the day, we felt so inspired by everyone who has been part of our Seb’s Legs campaign that we just kept running for as fast as we could, for as long as we could. The atmosphere was electric.”
The campaign ‘Seb’s Legs’ was launched in October 2014 and Seb’s family and friends have been busy with fundraising events ever since. Thanks to the generosity of friends, family and complete strangers, the couple have smashed their £10,000 Three Legged Marathon target, with a current total of over £12,500. Seb has become a global star through his facebook page www.facebook.com/sebslegs where he has more than 2,500 followers from around the world including 45 individual countries.
If you would like to find out more about Seb’s journey, please visit his website www.sebslegs.com. If you would like to sponsor James and Lorna for their Three Legged Marathon please visit www.justgiving.com/threeleggedmarathon.