Let the countdown begin! In just a few days 50,000 runners will take to the streets of London for the famous London Marathon. This year, 450 of them will be raising money for the leading charity for young wheelchair users Whizz-Kidz, including our senior marketing executive, Stephen Salmon.
Stephen, a wheelchair user since 2008, already holds the Guinness World Record for his 2021 London Marathon efforts, finishing the fastest marathon in a non-racing wheelchair. This year he returns to raise support and much needed funds.
We caught up with Stephen, a British Army Veteran, in his final preparations to ask how he’s feeling and his motivation: “My 2021 time of 3 hrs 18 mins and 15 sec broke the Guinness World Record so the plan this year is to beat it. I would also love to raise at least £2,000 for the charity Whizz-Kidz, via my JustGiving page, at a crucial time for disabled people because life as a disabled person is more expensive”.
On average, those living with a condition or impairment pay an extra £583 per month. So some families have to think hard about the cost of charging an electric wheelchair or how or when they can socialise as a family.
And it's more than that. Breaking down barriers and challenging perspectives of what’s possible for disabled people, drives Stephen everyday. He said: “We don’t need society to put more barriers up, I can navigate through most things and doing them by using my wheelchair is no different. I want to be seen as a force for positivity, to show young wheelchair users what’s possible and help them perhaps overcome their social anxiety and to believe in themselves as well”.
This year we’ll see 26.2 miles of determination, dedication and maybe a broken Guinness World Record. Good Luck to Stephen and all the participants - you are all inspirational.
If you want to help change perspectives of people, refuse to see people's limitations, help and support Stephen through JustGiving.