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Dale running to help support disabled son

Malvern Editorial 4th Apr, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A DEVOTED father-of-three is set to go the extra mile for a charity which has provided a huge amount of support for his disabled son.

Dale Dyer, who grew up in Malvern, will pound the streets of the capital when he runs the London Marathon on Sunday, April 13, in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice.

The 47-year-old’s eldest son Jack, nine, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just a baby and is cared for by the hospice at least once a month.

Dale has taken the gruelling 26-mile challenge on before, raising nearly £9,000 for the charity back in 2008, but has been unsuccessful in his applications to take part again up until now.

“When I ran it back in 2008, to this day I don’t know why, but I had a problem with the back of both knees so I never did it the justice I thought I could,” he said.

“So I’ve always wanted to run it again because I knew I could do it in a better time. I’ve applied through the ballot every year since and luckily I got through this year.”

So far Dale has raised more than £2,400, just short of his minimum fund-raising target of £2,500 but he is hoping to raise £5,000 for Acorns.

“The service they provide is just amazing and makes our lives that little bit easier when Jack goes there,” he added. “It just means we get to do normal stuff, things normal families can do that we don’t get the chance to.

“It means our other two kids, to a degree, kind of get to live a bit of a normal life every now and again and we don’t have to be consciously thinking of Jack’s problems and whether he might be in hospital.”

Taking on the challenge with Dale is neighbour and godfather to their youngest child Mark Bladen, who also grew up in the town.

“We feel part of the family and before we lived here we probably didn’t have a lot of experience of disabilities,” Mark added. “Obviously, seeing what Dale and Sharon have to go through makes you appreciate what you have.

“So when you see you can do something to help, you do.

“It’s also an opportunity for me to do it, to take part in the London Marathon, you don’t normally get the chance to do that and hopefully we can raise a lot. We want to do as well as we can.”

The pair have been training three or four times a week since mid-October, and donations can be made at www.virginmoneygiving.com/dyerandbladen.

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