‘Wheeley Grant’ completes seventh marathon on final day of challenge for Willen Hospice

Bradwell Village man Grant Miller finished his 100-day Incremental Wheelchair Marathon on Sunday (28 June), completing a total of seven marathons, and raising a fantastic £4,200 for Willen Hospice.

Grant, who volunteers for the Hospice, initially started the challenge as part of his one-hour a day exercise, when the country first went into lockdown. The challenge became popular on social media, with Grant posting daily photos from his ‘trundles’. His initial £500 target started to hit the one thousand mark and continued to grow.

Feeling inspired, Grant’s friends created a video of his daily outings, which was put to a cover of ‘All by Myself’, composed by a group of local musicians. The video has had nearly 500 views, and shows how physically demanding the challenge was for Grant.

Speaking about his challenge, Grant, said, “Willen Hospice means a lot to me as I have had four friends and their families supported by them, and I know the fabulous work that they do. With the current Coronavirus situation, their fundraising efforts have been heavily curtailed, so I wanted to take the opportunity to help.

“Initially I just thought I would do one or two marathons by adding up the distance that I trundled around the village in my wheelchair, but as time went by the number just went up! I found myself adding extra loops to the route I was taking to make the daily trundles longer.

“The reaction from my friends, family and total strangers has been staggering and people have been so very generous. I’ve enjoyed talking to people when I’ve been out and getting my daily exercise. Now it’s over, I will keep trundling, but I won’t feel compelled to go out every day and I will now allow myself to travel a bit further afield to explore more areas of Milton Keynes.”

Nikki Poole, Community Fundraiser, said, “I think I can speak for everyone at Willen Hospice when I say how proud we all are of Grant. He is such a fantastic supporter of the Hospice, and when he suddenly wasn’t able to donate his time anymore, he decided to fundraise for us instead. The response has been so humbling and inspiring, and it’s bought so much joy to a lot of people. It really was a bright light in these dark times.”

During the pandemic, the Hospice has remained open to patients and to provide care to people in their own homes. The charity needs to raise £4.7million every year, that’s £9 a minute, to continue providing its specialist, compassionate care to patients with life-limiting illnesses, and at the end of their lives. With their usual fundraising events and activity cancelled by Covid-19, fundraisers like Grants are making a huge difference.

Donations to Grant’s Incremental Wheelchair Marathon can be made here.

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