HOW DID BRICKRUNNERS START
Like most kids I was obsessed with Lego, building things on- and off-plan from a young age, even attempting stop-frame animation with the castle set at the age of 9 on a Hi8 video camera.
Skip to 2018 and my friend and fellow Spinal Research ambassador, Eric Keeler, was running across the US; from Lubec, Maine to Santa Monica, California. Over 8 months I illustrated Eric’s journey as a BrickRunner along with one of my own characters, Bear. Slowly, Eric evolved from hand drawn cartoons to a digital mascot.
In May 2019 while fundraising for Berlin Marathon, I started illustrating everyone as their very own BrickRunner as a way of saying thanks to supporters. It wasn’t long before a few people turned into a sponsorship from the National Running Show and a growing community of BrickRunners. In March of 2020, there were over 400 BrickRunners and it was time to launch BrickRunners properly
HOW DOES BRICKRUNNERS WORK WITH CHARITIES
BrickRunners occasionally changes its fundraising goals. Whether that’s to fund a different charity or to meet a fundraising target for a race. Whatever we do, we want to make sure that everything we do has a positive impact on the world around us, through our actions and through our community. We want to work towards supporting small charities, charities like Spinal Research that don’t get the same funding as larger charities or who aren’t as visible and recognised as others but also be able to pick initiatives that help raise the profile of any charity and engage people to get involved.
HOW DOES IT WORK
By commissioning a digital character or getting a print done, we’re able to spend more time working on BrickRunners. This allows us to do more charitable projects like supporting Mind for RED January, Miles for Mind with runr and various other initiatives that we have the pleasure or working with. We’re also planning more for Spinal Injury Awareness month in September and other events throughout the year. It also means that we can donate time and prizes to help other people with their fundraising.
WHY SPINAL RESEARCH
In 2009 I fell down a flight of stairs and fractured my T6/7/8 vertebrae. I spent six months walking with crutches and a cane and going to physical therapy. In 2016 I decided I needed something to work towards when my brother challenged me to run a marathon. 24 hours later I had signed up to run London Marathon 2017 for Spinal Research. I started running for Spinal Research, because I’m lucky enough to still be walking. Some people aren’t as lucky as me, and three people every day are told they’ll never walk again. With 50,000 people paralysed due to spinal cord injury and an estimated 2.5 million worldwide, this only highlights why the work Spinal Research do is so important, especially as they receive no Government funding.
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