Northampton dad has raised more than £1,000 after running just 19 races of his 52 marathon challenge

Gary Herbert is running 52 marathons in a year to raise funds for his disabled son, Lewis.
Gary Herbert is running 52 marathons in a year to raise funds for his disabled son, Lewis.

Gary Herbert is just over three months into the challenge that he has described as 'harder than expected'.

The dedicated dad is taking on 52 marathons in 52 weeks during his son's eighteenth year in a bid to raise much needed funds for his 17-year-old son who has an extremely rare form of epilepsy.

Gary has already completed 19 marathons of his epic challenge.

Gary has already completed 19 marathons of his epic challenge.

Gary has been running marathons since September 23, 2019 and has already completed races in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Nottingham.

The 42-year-old said: “I have managed to complete 19 marathons so far, only 33 to go.

"It has been even harder than I expected to be honest with lots of mental and physical challenges you have to go through with each one. Every one is like an event in itself, it's a long way."

Gary, from West Hunsbury, has already raised more than £1,000 to help cover the cost of providing Lewis with around the clock care and the specialist equipment he needs.

Lewis relies on his mum and dad to do everything for him.

Lewis relies on his mum and dad to do everything for him.

Suffering with the condition Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, which is resistant to medicine, Lewis is wheelchair bound, has up to 100 seizures a day and relies on his parents, Gary and Lexi, to do everything for him.

Gary added: “Lewis absolutely loves multi-sensory environments with lots of lights and sounds. They make him feel happy, content and relaxed.

“He also loves listening to Beyoncé.”

This equipment comes at a great cost so over the years the family has raised money in many ways to help support Lewis with such equipment that is not always available on the NHS.

They document Lewis’ journey and their fundraising campaigns on the website they set up called Life for Lewis.

Gary has previously taken on the challenge of running 1,600 miles in 10 months for his son's ongoing campaign.

The dedicated dad is taking on the new marathon challenge to raise money for his son, but also to raise awareness of the financial difficulties parents of disabled children face.

Gary said: “I feel it’s important to raise awareness of the extreme financial challenges and restrictions parents like us with severely disabled children face on an ongoing basis through no fault of our own.

“It hurts deeply to not be able to be self-sufficient.

“Then of course you have the guilt of always having to rely on others which can be soul destroying as we want to be able to provide ourselves without any help, but it is just not possible due the cards we have been dealt and the situation we find ourselves in.

“My heart really goes out to all those families who are in the same or a similar position to us but have no one to turn to.”

Gary believes the Government needs to do more for families in a similar situation to his to help provide financial support.

If you want to donate to Gary’s 52 marathons in 52 weeks challenge, visit his JustGiving page here.