Proving Love is strong, a devoted son has pushed his terminally ill father round an 8km fun run to raise awareness of his rare condition.
Tony Love, aged 71, was diagnosed with degenerative disease PSP (Progressive Sparanuclear Palsy), which gives sufferers an average life expectancy of just seven years after its onset, in 2007.
After the devastating diagnosis, his son Rob decided he wanted to raise awareness and funding for research into the neurological condition.
Rob had completed marathons on his own but when he enrolled in the Knowle Fun Run, the 37-year-old managing director appealed for a wheelchair so he could take his father with him.
“There was a lot of anticipation, because for a while we didn’t know whether or not we would get the wheelchair for dad,” he said.
“Eventually we did and to compete in the race made the day even more amazing.”
Rob and Tony finished the race on May 18 in an impressive 48 minutes, coming 638th out of 1,349 runners, despite the blistering heat of the day.
“Considering the heat and the amount of hills, I’m really proud of what we achieved,” he said.
“The look on my dad’s face was priceless. The crowd was extremely supportive, especially around the hills. They really spurred me on,” he added.
His mother Sue also got involved with the cause holding a charity reception after the race which raised over £400 for the PSP Association (PSPA).
But Rob wasn’t ready to put away his running shoes at that point and last weekend he completed the Edinburgh Marathon.
“Completing a marathon is tough, but to complete one either side of another run in the middle is even tougher,” said the businessman who also ran the London Marathon in April. “I’m doing it though, to raise money and awareness of PSP.
“PSP is a horrible condition and yet it is rarely reported on in the media.
“More needs to be done to raise the profile of the condition so that in the future others don’t have to go through what my dad has.
“The fact I am getting the charity’s name out there is enough to help motivate me to complete these events.”