Southsea dad to take on Great South Run to raise awareness of son’s condition

These runners will be taking on the Great South Run with Ben Male for his son Leo

CARING dad Ben Male is taking on a 10-mile race to raise awareness of his son’s condition.

The 37-year-old and a team of friends will be doing the Great South Run in a week’s time for the Williams Syndrome Foundation.

Leo Male has a rare condition which affects only 1 in 18,000 people

His son Leo, aged four, has the condition which affects one in 18,000 people in the UK. It is a rare congenital condition which causes developmental delays and learning challenges.

It can cause cardiovascular problems and Leo had open heart surgery in 2016 to widen his aorta.

To boost donations, Ben will be lacing up his trainers and will complete the Great South Run, in Southsea, on October 22.

Afterwards, the family are also hosting a music event at the Apsley House pub.

We’d really like to raise between £2,000 and £3,000 in total

Ben Male

Ben, from Southsea, said: ‘About 15 friends from my old football team are running with me.

‘Two of them are in a Madness tribute band so they’re going to be performing in our local after the race.

‘There’s also going to be a raffle and we’ll be selling tickets on the day.

‘We’ve had loads of prizes donated like beer and wine, spa treatments and even free tattoos.’

Ben ran the Great South Run two years ago for the same charity but said he wanted to make more of an event of it this time to boost donations.

So far, the group has raised more than £1,500 but wants to see that double.

Ben added: ‘We have raised £1,500 so far on our Just Giving page and a couple of my friends have set up their own pages which have raised between £400 and £500.

‘We’d really like to raise between £2,000 and £3,000 in total and hopefully this will not be too much of a stretch.’

Ben and his friends have been meeting up on Sundays to train, attempting to go a mile further each week to prepare for the 10-mile race.

More than 20,000 people are expected to take part in the Great South Run this year, which is sponsored by Simplyhealth.

The day before, on October 21, thousands of youngsters will also take place in the mini and junior Great South Run events.

To make a donation to Ben visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-male.

For more information on the charity visit williams-syndrome.org.uk

More from News