HE STRUGGLED to walk a ‘miracle mile’ after years in a wheelchair – but that wasn’t enough for David Griffin.
The 56-year-old suffers from a rare muscle-wasting disease, but he has once again pushed his frail body to the limit in aid of charity.
In relentless heat David bravely struggled for four and a half hours to complete one and a half miles around the running track at HMS Temeraire, in Burnaby Road, Old Portsmouth.
Friends of the brave fundraiser described it as ‘his toughest challenge to date by far’ and admitted they had feared for his health.
Barely able to stand, David reached the end of his ordeal and almost collapsed over the finishing line – prompting mighty cheers from dozens of gathered supporters. As for the charity champion himself, all he had to say was: ‘I’m knackered.’
‘That’s David all over,’ said his trainer and friend Fr Brizz Miles-Knight.
‘Anyone else would have given up long before the end, because it was clear he was in a huge amount of pain and discomfort.
‘But something in him won’t let him quit. He always pushes himself that extra mile and it was amazing to see him go the distance.’
Last year David – who is believed to be the oldest living sufferer of Allgrove syndrome, a degenerative condition similar to MS – completed 21 circuits of the Charles Dickens Centre sports hall, in Lake Road, Portsmouth, with the aid of a Zimmer frame.
Now he has also joined forces with two Military Provost soldiers in the hope of adding to their total for Help for Heroes.
Later this year former squash endurance record-holders Darryl Gilmore and Danny Elam, joined by their colleagues from HMS Excellent Antonio Volpe and Arnie Fern, have vowed to play 10 hours for every half-mile David walks.
But for now, he just wants to have a rest and take a bit of pride in his own achievement.
‘It is good to feel I’ve done it,’ he said. ‘But it was much harder than before. I had a chest infection a few days before. So that plus the heat made it painful. Though I’ve always said what I put up with is nothing compared to our troops, so I’m happy to help however I can.’
David has so far raised more than £2,400 for Help For Heroes, and is far from finished with fundraising.
‘As long as I can do it I will,’ he said. ‘I’m happy to be helping people, it gives me something to live for.’
To donate money visit bmycharity.com/davidgriffin.