Toby to run in aid of autism charity

Dated: 07/05/2013 'Charity runner Toby Henderson and his mother Lesley who were joined by Bupa Great North 10k runners for a fun-run lap of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, draped in the colourful flags of the twelve European Athletics Team Championships Countries to launch this years event which will be held on Sunday 23rd June.'Fao Kerry Simpson, Nova International.' #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia
Dated: 07/05/2013 'Charity runner Toby Henderson and his mother Lesley who were joined by Bupa Great North 10k runners for a fun-run lap of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, draped in the colourful flags of the twelve European Athletics Team Championships Countries to launch this years event which will be held on Sunday 23rd June.'Fao Kerry Simpson, Nova International.' #NorthNewsAndPictures/2daymedia

A teenager who suffers from autism is facing his next big challenge as he gets set to take part in one of the region’s most popular sporting events.

Toby Henderson, of Mile Road, Widdrington, Morpeth, led the launch of the Bupa Great North 10k Gateshead and he will take part in the run on Sunday, June 23.

Toby, who has severe autism, learning difficulties and very little speech, will enjoy the event with the help of his support assistant Angela Elliott-Hague and occupational therapist James Craister.

The 19-year-old will be raising money for the charity set up in his name by his parents to provide vital support services for children with autism and their families.

Toby’s mum Lesley, 55, said: “Without question, I am one of the proudest mums in the world at the moment.

“Taking part in any long distance race is an achievement for anyone but for Toby, who has profound learning disabilities, severe autism and very little speech, it is nothing short of a miracle.

“My sincere thanks go to the teaching team at Northern Counties School who are facilitating his training, learning how to breathe and indicate whether he is too hot, thirsty or needs to stop and rest.

“I hope Toby is an inspiration to all of those families with younger children who look into the future with trepidation.

“My son has taught me the incredible power of optimism and I will be eternally grateful for that.”

To enter the run visit www.greatrun.org/north10k.