This weekend I am running a half marathon in Edinburgh in aid of a charity called 500 Miles - so no I am not running 500 miles, but 13 seems pretty far!
500 Miles is a charity that was started by an inspirational Scottish woman, Olivia Giles, who was struck down my meningococcal septicaemia and had to have all her limbs amputated to prevent gangrene spreading. Now she runs her own charity which provides prosthetic limbs to people living in some of the poorest countries in the world, Malawi and Zambia. Here's an article in the Scotsman newspaper about her.
Less than 5% of the people who require prosthetics or orthotics in these countries actually receive them. This project hopes to change that.Training is provided to local workers who make and fit the limbs - giving people back their lives. Less than 5% of the people who require prosthetics or orthotics in these countries actually receive them. This project hopes to change that. £60 can provide someone with a prosthetic limb and a chance at a normal life.
Their projects include the 500 Miles Centre at Kamuzu, only the second prosthetic centre in Malawi, opened by the charity in 2009. The centre will be handed over to the Ministry of Health in Malawi somewhere between 2016 and 2019 and before then they have committed to training 5 new, Malawian prosthetists/orthotists.
This is not a large charity, it means that only a small percentage of the funds raised go to run the charity and a high percentage is spent on the people who need the help the most. It also trains local workers and will therefore leave a lasting legacy.
The charity is named after The Proclaimer's famous song lyrics "I would walk 500 miles" and I think it's a great name!
If you would like to sponsor me and support this inspirational charity I have set up a page on JustGiving.com - it is a secure site with all the money going directly to the charity.
I think running a half marathon for this charity that helps people who would love to run if they could is a great way of supporting the charity.