Father of three Graham Wilkes, from Kings Heath in Birmingham, has found a creative solution to drive his fundraising attempts ahead of his bid to run the Virgin Money London Marathon, on Sunday 13th April.
The 48-year-old has put together a short two minute film which explains why he has chosen Caudwell Children to be the lucky recipient of his muscle sapping efforts over the gruelling 26.2 mile course.
But his film making exploits are not the ham-fisted attempts of an enthusiastic amateur. Far from it, as he enlisted the internationally recognised, award winning film company Blue Hippo Media (BHM) to produce a highly polished piece of work. The film beautifully illustrates Graham’s deeply personal support of Caudwell Children, the charity which gives practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
In the film Graham details how, in 2004, his wife Caroline gave birth to their second child Jacob. Vital scans from early in the pregnancy had suggested that Jacob would be born with underlying medical conditions, but doctors couldn’t be certain what they would be. Graham explains that after the birth, Jacob was diagnosed with Partial Trisomy of Chromosome 3 and Polymicrogyria, an extremely rare condition of which there are no other known sufferers in the world.
He describes how, due to Jacobs restricted movements, he and his wife had resigned themselves to the fact that the family would never experience quality time together beyond their locality.
However, just as they had given up hope of ever travelling overseas, he explains how Caudwell Children stepped in to offer the family a much needed respite holiday to Florida. The annual dream break, which enables children fighting life-threatening illnesses to travel abroad with the support they require, was a timely intervention.
As Graham explained: “To be able to go away, as a family, and enjoy the financial and practical support that Caudwell Children gave us, was life-changing. I think it was the most profound experience that we’ve had.”
The film features moving footage of the families exploits in some of the most famous theme parks in the world. Accompanied by film of Graham pounding the streets of Birmingham plus stills photographs of Jacob and the family at home and in Florida, BHM has produced a compelling package in support of his marathon attempt.
Pip Piper, director of BHM, explained why he took the job on and why he was only too pleased to produce it free of charge. He said: “I have known Graham for more than 15 years. I have witnessed his family’s enormous battle with Jacobs’s condition and the dignity and determination with which they have dealt with it. Graham asked if I would help him create a short film to enhance his fund-raising efforts and highlight the fantastic work of Caudwell Children. Of course I was delighted to help. I hope he raises huge amounts of money as he runs the London Marathon.”
Graham concluded: “I realise how incredibly lucky we were in receiving the support from Caudwell Children. Without them there would have been no way that we could ever have had that precious time together. I don’t want other families in a similar situation to miss out on this fantastic opportunity. It’s heart-breaking to think that others may not benefit from much needed time away from the constraints of everyday life. That’s why I need the support of the public and, hopefully, the film will encourage them to dig deep!”
To view the film visit: http://bit.ly/M90Xmx
To sponsor Graham visit his Just Giving Page: http://www.justgiving.com/
To find out more about Caudwell Children visit: www.caudwellchildren.com