A DAD has completed an epic running challenge to raise vital funds and awareness in honour of son who has a rare, life-limiting condition

Brett Parson, 48, from Wallingford, ran four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours, clocking up an ultra-distance of 48 miles and raising a huge £1,600 last month.

He was raising money for national charity Dravet Syndrome UK as his nine-year-old son, Bradley, has Dravet Syndrome, a rare, life-limiting type of epilepsy that affects around one in every 15,000 people in the UK.

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Bradley had his first seizure at five months old, lasting for 50 minutes and as he struggled to breathe, he was blue-lighted to hospital.

Herald Series: Brett with members of running group Run WallingfordBrett with members of running group Run Wallingford

This became an unwanted pattern that would become Bradley’s routine nearly every three to four weeks for the next 18 months of his life. At one year old, Bradley was diagnosed with Dravet Syndrome following a genetic test. 

As well as experiencing severe, difficult-to-control seizures, children and adults with Dravet Syndrome have varying degrees of intellectual disability and a spectrum of associated conditions. 

Bradley now has to take several different medications to help control seizures. His severe learning difficulty, recent diagnosis of ASD/ADHD and the inability to function independently mean that there are plenty of daily challenges and he will always be dependent on 24/7 care. 

Mr Parson said: “Completing the challenge was quite honestly one of the best experiences of my life.

Herald Series: Brett running with the group behind himBrett running with the group behind him

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“I loved every minute of it because it means so much to me to be able to raise money and awareness about Dravet Syndrome and of the charity Dravet Syndrome UK.

“I had such amazing support from my running club, Run Walllingford, who ensured I had someone to keep me company on each and every run I went on, including the two midnight and 4am runs.

“I can’t thank them enough for their support, plus all the messages, likes, words of encouragement from my friends and family throughout the 48 hours just fuelled me and kept me going to the end.

Herald Series: Brett Parson with his son BradleyBrett Parson with his son Bradley

 “I’m hugely grateful to everyone that sponsored me, enabling me to exceed my fundraising target and provide valuable funds for Dravet Syndrome UK.” 

Before the challenge Brett said: “Despite his condition, Bradley really is the most remarkable, loving, kind and thoughtful son. He lives his life to the full.”

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Director of the charity, Sarah Pearce, said: “We are so grateful to Brett for putting himself through this gruelling challenge in aid of Dravet Syndrome UK.

“The funds Brett raises will help the charity to support more families like his, who are living with Dravet Syndrome”.

To make a donation, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brett-parsons3 


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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