The grandson of a popular Wearside businessman who suffered from ‘Locked in Syndrome’ after a stoke will be on the starting line in his memory tomorrow.
Louis Costigan and his friends will be joining in the Mini Great North Run in honour of Peter Charlton, a partner in the estate agency of Charles Bell, which had branches across the region.
The 64-year-old, who went on to run a self-titled surveying firm in Frederick Street, Sunderland, died three years ago after he was left suffering from the condition as a result of a stroke in 2007.
Louis, six, will join best friends, brothers Jonah, four, and Jude Gould, from Durham, for the race along the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside.
They did it last year for eye charity Nystagmus and will this year raise funds for the Stoke Association, hoping to add as much as they can to the £1,600 collected so far - exceeding their £1,000 target.
The event will also see Peter’s family mark the anniversary of his death.
For me he was an inspiration as he never ever complained when I went to see him.Madeleine Costigan, daughter of Peter Charlton
Louis’s mum Madeleine, 36, who now lives with her family in Wynyard, said: “Louis was only three when Dad died, but he remembers him and talks about Grandad Charlton in heaven.
“He wants to send messages to him and wants to raise money for him and his friends.
“So far we’ve raised £1,600 and some of Dad’s pals have donated and we’ve had some lovely messages on Facebook after people have read about Dad.
“We aimed to raise £1,000 so now we’re aiming for £2,000.”
Madeleine has described locked in syndrome, which happens when a part of the brain stem is damaged and causes complete paralysis, as “the worst ever nightmare that you don’t wake up from.”
She added: “Frankly I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
“My dad was still sane and had his mind but couldn’t communicate with us, apart from using his eyes and a plastic board adorned with letters and colours where by eye movement would determine the letters of the words he wanted to speak.
“For me he was an inspiration as he never ever complained when I went to see him.
“As it approaches the three-year anniversary since he died, and even more poignant that the boys will be running the mini run on the actual anniversary date I thought it would be lovely, especially for my son Louis to run the race in his memory and raise money for the Stroke Association to hopefully fund more research to prevent ‘locked in syndrome’.”
Madeleine will accompany the boys around the course with Jonah and Jude’s mum Carly, 36.
Peter, who was also dad to Marianne Gordon, 41, Nicky, 31, Caroline Dixon, 29, and son Henry, 33, as well as five grandchildren.
The former Tunstall and Durham Schools student went on to study at Northumbria University, going on to join Charles Bell, which was later bought out by the Halifax.
Outside of work he was a music fan, playing in his own group The Cyclones, and played rugby, cricket and football.
Donations can be added via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Madeleine-Costigan