Disabled man to complete half-marathon in a wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 13:55 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:55 13 September 2018

David Cooper will be among those racing today PICTURE: DAVID COOPER

David Cooper will be among those racing today PICTURE: DAVID COOPER


A 79-year-old widower who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease will take part in the Great East Run.

He may be unable to walk - but David Cooper is not letting disability get in his way as he prepares to complete the Great East a wheelchair.

The 79-year-old Maldon man has lost the use of his legs due to Motor Neurone Disease.

Yet not willing to sit back, he has continued to take part in long-distance wheelchair events.

And now he is to take on a combined distance of 29 miles in two months in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Mr Cooper said: “I’ve lost the use of my legs but I was always very active before. I did lots of long-distance walks.

“So I thought: what can I do? Other than think and dwell on what I can’t do, what can physically I do?”

With a stoic attitude and positivity, Mr Cooper took up wheelchair racing and has since raised over £1,000 for the charity.

He said: “I had recently got a rather good, lightweight wheelchair and it’s one I’m able to push quite well.

“I talked to the Motor Neurone Association and asked them what I could do to stay active and they told me about some races which they support.”

Mr Cooper’s three-race challenge which will begin at the Great East Run, Ipswich’s own half-marathon, on September 16.

He will then travel to Bournemouth for a 10k on October 6 before finishing with a 10-mile slog at the Great South Run in Portsmouth on October 21.

“My upper body strength has always been quite reasonable, so I have now found something I can do to utilise it,” said Mr Cooper.

“I do a lot of long-distance country pushes and I enjoy going to the gym so I go every other day and I’ve worked on getting stronger.”

The Motor Neurone Disease Association helps thousands of British people who suffer from the condition daily.

Mr Cooper said: “I know that the Motor Neurone Disease Association are constantly working to try and make the condition bearable and to find a cure.

“I don’t think they will for me but maybe one day they will for someone else.”

To donate to the cause, visit


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Stowmarket Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Stowmarket Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Stowmarket Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content


The Proposed Relevant Licensable Activities are: Supply of alcohol. Screening of films. Playing of live and recorded music.


Name of Applicant: Julien Jourdain Name of Premises: Mariners Postal Address of Premises: Neptune Quay, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AX


Emma Stuart trading as Liam Molloy Transport of 53 Britannia Road, Ipswich, IP4 5LD is applying to change an existing licence as follows: To keep an extra 3 goods vehicles and 3 trailers at the operating centre at Water Compound, Walton Avenue, Felixstowe, IP11 3HH

Yesterday, 23:00

Police have warned of the dangers of drug use after finding empty canisters of laughing gas by a Suffolk village hall.

Local weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 4°C

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Stowmarket Mercury regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24