A man will be given a chance of “freedom” when his blind friend takes on the Great North Run in his name.
Graham Dobson, from Washington Village, was born with spina bifida and his condition has begun to deteriorate during the last year.
The 46-year-old has been getting up at 4.30am to make it into work in time for his 7.30am start, with the struggle between his wheelchair into his car taking up to 20 minutes.
His mate, Gary Ferguson, who is blind, will run the half marathon on September 13 dressed as William Wallace, from the film Braveheart, to help raise cash towards the £40,000 needed to buy a new electric wheelchair and a modified VW Caddy van.
Gary, from Rowlands Gill, is calling for support to boost the appeal and has already raised £1,205 through a GoFundMe page, set up two weeks ago.
Graham said: “I’m so grateful for everyone who has donated to my GoFundMe page so far – this will make such a difference to my life. Gary is an inspiration.”
Gary, 54, said: “Graham is a very proud and fiercely-independent man, having fought to remain in work all of his life, but he is now struggling to maintain his upper body strength, care regime and transfer needs.
“Having to get up so early every morning to get to work on time is taking its toll on his health and wellbeing.”
Kelsea Little, media director at GoFundMe.com said: “Gary’s GoFundMe campaign is incredibly inspiring, and it’s amazing to see the support of his friends, family and community who have rallied together to donate.”
The Get Graham Going page can be found via www.gofundme.com/GRAHAM-D.