Ed Douglas Miller, managing director of whacky eco-manufacturing company Remarkable, will be running whilst helping to push Motor Neurone Disease (MND) sufferer Chris O’Flaherty’s wheelchair around the Bupa Great North Run on 18th September 2011.
Chris O’Flaherty, now aged 33, was left heartbroken after both his mother and brother had previously died of motor neurone disease. Tragically, Chris is now battling with the incurable condition himself. However his experience has spurred him towards wanting to raise vital funds and awareness about the disease which has so far devastated his life. Now in a poignant labour of love he is poised to take part in the Great North Run 2011 in his wheelchair in order to do just that.
His older brother Richard was the first person within the family to be diagnosed with the disease, which involves the progressive wasting of muscles, and was only in his mid-20s when he died. Their mother Patricia also died from MND about three years ago under the age of 60 years old. Both relations had an aggressive form of the disease.
Chris has been told that he is suffering from a “slower” form and says that he takes each day as it comes. Enjoying a normal childhood with his family in Norfolk, he was in his 20s when he starting having problems with walking.
“I just dragged my feet and couldn’t lift them up for some reason; I never knew this would result in the devastation of my life and my family. I have had the disease for about eight years, so at the moment I am ‘outliving the text books’ which suggested a three to five year life expectancy”
Chris continued: “I take every day as it comes. It is a blessing when I wake up each morning,”
The Norwich and Waveney branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) has been very supportive throughout the family’s suffering, part funding Chris’s wheelchair and mobility vehicle.
UK-based Remarkable’s managing director and eco-inventor Ed Douglas Miller commented: “when I first met Chris I was thrown by his unimaginable tragedy, but I was humbled by his strength, courage and determination to stay positive in such desperate circumstances. I would be so grateful if members of the public could support me, as I run the half Marathon to raise money for Chris, so that he can realize his goal and give funds to MNDA for all the support they have given to him and his family.”