MELKSHAM runner Luke Dark, will be taking on the Great Bristol Run in honour of his sister Abbie, who has been a patient at Bristol Children’s Hospital since she was born.
Abbie was born with a rare tumour on her neck, called lymphangioma, and was also diagnosed with scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. She had major surgery at the age of 13 and has had 13 operative procedures in all, and is a lifelong patient at the hospital.
Luke said, “It means so much for me to be able to help her. She can’t run a half marathon so I want to do this in her honour.”
Luke also aims to raise £100 for the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal which supported Abbie, and helps patients and families at the Bristol Children’s Hospital through providing family accommodation; investing in medical research programmes; funding state-of-the-art equipment and providing a fun, stimulating and comfortable space for the children the hospital cares for.
Luke said, “I am considering dressing up as one of the characters to do the run as but I don’t know yet!”
In 2014, Luke was involved in a head on collision with a truck and sustained multiple injuries including a traumatic brain injury. Following the incident, Luke was in a coma and airlifted to Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, where he spent the following six months recovering.
Over the last few years of his recovery, Luke has become a keen runner. He is a member of Melksham’s Forest Fitness group, and takes part in various challenges. Last year, he completed his first virtual London Marathon and most recently ran the Devizes Half Marathon in April.
He said, “No-one ever expected me to walk again, or be alive. I love running, it gives me a real sense of achievement. The Great Bristol Run is a new course for me. I don’t know what challenges it will hold. I don’t think it’s what’s considered as a ‘personal best’ course but I’ll give it a go!”
Taking on the challenge with Luke is his running partner Catrin Pullinger.
To donate funds, visit Luke’s Just Giving page here, https://bit.ly/3HEgeKJ
Right: Luke after completing his last challenge – the Devizes Half Marathon on Sunday 2nd April.