A 30-YEAR-OLD singer and hairdresser is to put his best fund-raising foot forward after being inspired by a charity founder.
Ryan Joseph, of Station Street, Hatton, broke down in tears when he heard Maria Hanson's speech about her charity Me & Dee and her own struggles and has decided to do everything he can to help – which will include running the Paris Marathon.
He said: "I was booked to sing at her fund-raising ball and she did a wonderful speech about the work she did on The Secret Millionaire and everything she has been through because she is so poorly. The charity relies purely on donations and any fund-raising and everyone is a volunteer.
"It broke my heart and really touched me so I want to do everything I can to help."
He became involved in running the Paris Marathon as Mr Joseph's brother runs local running club Thunder Runners.
He said: "I am not the most active of people but I thought I would give it a go, and then my sister-in-law signed me up to run the Paris Marathon as a 30th birthday present. I didn't have a reason not to do it then.
"I haven't run more than 10 miles before so I need to build up stamina, and will be running in the Silverstone half marathon.
Mr Joseph has not set himself a fund-raising target and hopes to raise whatever he can for Me & Dee, which now provides seaside holidays for families with seriously ill children. It also provides 'comfort packs' for hospitals which include overnight items for patients and their families who have been immediately sent to hospital following a diagnosis.
He said: "Maria and I have grown really close since I met her."
Anyone who would like to sponsor Mr Joseph can do so by visiting his fund-raising page www.justgiving.com/ryan-joseph