Marathon hero aged 10 raises €40k for charity

by Ian Begley

A 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his team of supporters have raised an incredible €40,000 for Barrestown – just before he takes part in the Dublin Marathon.
James Casserly, will make history this Monday when he will be the first child ever to take part in an Irish marathon, alongside his personal coach March Lacey.
Over the course of the year, the duo have been training relentlessly for the 26.2 mile challenge while raising awareness and money for Barrestown, a specially-designed camp that James attends throughout the year.
Mark, owner of Fit Zone in Palmerstown, told The Gazette that James is one of the bravest children he has ever met.
“I first started training with James from January of this year. Basically, we were trying to bring a bit of light back into his life by setting him with little goals, which eventually turned into a double marathon!
“He chose to raise money for Barrestown, which is really close to his heart because he goes there three of four times a year.
“There were a few knock backs here and there with me getting injured and James being sick, but after a two-month break we got back into the swing of things and began training hard once again.”
James’s condition affects mostly his lower limbs and core, and he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis before Christmas.
“We originally set our target for €10,000, but James’ story has just touched the lives of so many people that this number just went up and up,” added Mark.
“We had a lot of people holding fundraisers for James throughout the year and have about 35 people running in the marathon for him. Hopefully, before the end of the year we will have raised €50,000.”
The Team James Facebook page is very proactive and James and Mark regularly update their followers with personal messages and videos of their progress.
“Doing videos is much more personal and people can actually see the real James and what a character he is,” said Mark.
“Anyone can see his good and bad days, but when he gets out and about with me you can see by his face that he just loves it. I ran 70 marathons at this stage and have six Iron Mans under my belt but this is by far the most exciting thing I’ve done.
“It is also lifting barriers with Dublin Marathon and hopefully they will allow more children with disabilities take part in future.”
After the marathon Mark will run for Team James in New York and three weeks after that will compete in the Lanzarote marathon.
You can still donate to Team James by visiting www.dublin-marathon-2016.everydayhero.com/ie/team-james.

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