A DAREDEVIL fundraiser is once again strapping on his running shoes in the hope of raising thousands of pounds for charity.
Over the years Andy Buddin, of Ashbourne Road, Hill Park, Jarrow, has abseiled down buildings, done a 13,000ft tandem skydive and parachute jumps, blistered his feet in fun runs and charity walks – and dyed his hair blue.
Now, the 49-year-old is getting ready to take on another 10-mile run, in the hope of raising money for the MS Society, and awareness of the debilitating disease in aid of a family friend.
Julie Hayes was diagnosed with MS when she was just 20. She became paraplegic for seven months, and wasn’t able to do anything for herself.
However, the 44-year-old mum-of-two, who now lives in Sydney, Australia, had physiotherapy every day and eventually learned to walk again.
She says that “everything is difficult” and the disease “sometimes feels like slow death”.
Andy, married to Lynne, also 49, has known Julie for almost 30 years, and said he wants to do all he can to help her.
He said: “I didn’t realise just how much she has gone through. She is flattered that I’m doing this.
“Every charity I do something for means something to me.”
Andy will take on the Great South Run in Southsea, Portsmouth, on October 26, and hopes to raise £1,000 for his efforts.
He said: “I have been running for 25 years and have done the Great North Run 11 times, but it is a bit much for me now.
“I’m doing the Great South Run because I can just about manage that distance.
“My friends and family think I’m mad for still doing it, but all the time I have got my good legs, I will keep doing it.
“If other people can benefit from it then that means a lot to me.”
Andy began raising money for charity more than 25 years ago.
Since then he has collected more than £5,500 for various causes and in 2011 was nominated for a Role Model of the Year award at the Pride of South Tyneside Awards.
To donate, visit his JustGiving page HERE or TEXT HAYE50 to 70070.