Funds raised for Ryan’s dream

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An amputee boy who dreams to run completed a ‘painful’ fun run.

Ryan Brand, 15, of West Green, walked 5km on prosthetic legs in the fundraiser in Goffs Park on Sunday (February 22).

His father Matthew said Ryan, who had both his legs amputated in 2014, was ‘adamant’ to do the walk despite the pain walking caused him.

Matthew said: “He was in a lot of pain.

“He wasn’t sure if he wanted to do it in the morning.”

Matthew expected the run would raise £2,000, which would go towards buying his son prosthetic legs designed for running.

He said Ryan, who goes to St Wilfrid’s School, did not want to be seen ‘doing nothing’ at the event.

The fun run was organised by Stuart Marshall, store manager at the town centre Morrisons.

Most of the 30 people who took part were staff at the supermarket.

Stuart, 46, of Brighton, said: “It’s about the fact that there’s a young lad I know quite well whose quality of life isn’t what it should be for someone his age in this day and age.

“I’m not into politics but having three sons and a grandson who are all fit and healthy who I can run around with and they [the Brands] can’t is quite poor.”

Stuart has been helping Matthew raise funds for his appeal, The Ryan Brand Foundation, since late 2014.

Stuart was planning a large fundraising event involving ‘every single pub, club and shop in Crawley’.

He was applying for a license which would allow the businesses to have bucket collections for a day.

Matthew, of Buckmans Road, appealed for funds after Ryan chose to have his legs removed near the knee.

Ryan, who was born with spina bifida, suffered from an incurable infection in his left leg after he stepped on a nail aged three.

The spinal fault meant his body did not fight the disease and he had to go to hospital frequently.

He developed joint pains after his left leg was amputated in April and had his right removed in October.

Townspeople have raised thousands the cause so far.

Stuart’s 16-year-old son and Ryan’s 11 and 12-year-old brothers took part in the run.

Matthew said it was a ‘family effort’.