‘Bravest’ boy to run marathon for Barretstown

By Maurice Garvey

A FITNESS instructor will push it to the limit by running the Dublin City Half Marathon and full Marathon alongside a youngster with cerebral palsy.

Mark Lacey, owner of Fit Zone in Palmerstown, has pledged to raise up to €20,000 for Barretstown House – in an effort to support James Casserly (10), from Lucan.

James Casserly and Mark Lacey resized

James’s condition affects mostly his lower limbs and core, and he was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis before Christmas.

The Scoil Áine student started training with Mark at Fit Zone over the past number of weeks to aid his recovery.

Mark, a family friend of the Casserly’s, says James is “one of the bravest ten-year-olds you will ever meet” and he is “looking forward to raising some much-needed funds for Barretstown.

Lacey’s support and regular training work with sports-mad James, highlights his attributes as an “exceptional person”, according to James’s mother Vicki Casserly.

James Casserly and Mark Lacey 2 resized

Vicki, a Fine Gael councillor in South Dublin County Council said: “Mark vowed to help James get on his feet after his diagnosis for juvenile arthritis. His medication hasn’t worked. The pair of them really hit it off and are like two peas in a pod.

“It evolved into an idea for a marathon and James nominated Barretstown, a place he has so many smiles for. It’s an amazing thing for Mark to do for the family, and equally important for James’s movement.”

Sports-mad James, a Liverpool fan, has taken part in cross-country races before, and is training with Mark in the Phoenix Park every Sunday morning.

“The support from people has been phenomenal,” said Cllr Casserly.

“We had 20 people turning up at the training on Sunday and over 2,500 joins on the Facebook page.” People can support Team James on a dedicated Facebook page at https://goo.gl/KnUISt.



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