Stepping up to support school
THE father of a young boy with autism will run a marathon to raise money for the school that is helping his son progress in life.
Ryan Phillips will attempt the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday, April 28, and will be running for Humberston Park Special School.
Ryan visited the school to meet some of the pupils he will be raising money for.
The 28-year-old HGV driver, of Durban Road, Grimsby, said: "I started running after I suffered prolapsed disk in my back.
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"I had an operation to fix it in March 2012 and as part of the recovery I started running.
"This will be my first full length marathon and I am really looking forward to it.
"I have been training a lot and I hope to finish the run in around three hours and 15 minutes.
"I am going out six days a week and doing about 16 miles, but that is building up all the time.
"I want to raise as much money as possible for the school because I know it will go a long way.
"My son Harley comes here and the school does a lot for him. He was diagnosed with autism when he was younger.
"It was a difficult time for us and he came to the school not being able to use a knife and fork and after a year here he could do it.
"He is now five and is making great steps forward thanks to the staff.
"Humberston Park has been great; they go above and beyond and are always willing to help, even out of hours.
"I just want to give something back to them, which is why I am doing the marathon."
Pupils at the school interviewed Ryan as part of a project.
Pupil Jacob Topliss, 9, of North Somercotes said: "I think what he is doing is pretty good.
"I usually do some exercise at school.
"It is important to be fit and healthy and running can help with that."
Fellow pupil Sullivan Shaw, 10, of Isaacs Hill, Cleethorpes, added: "When I am older I would like to run a marathon."
And strong support comes from Ryan's four-year-old daughter, Gracie: "I like it when Daddy goes running because sometimes I get to watch him.
"He likes to help people and one day I will go running with him. I will be shouting for him."
To donate, text RYLP99 and the amount to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/Philly3719