Runners' Broads challenge will help a mate with facial palsy

Dean Keats and friends who are taking part in the Broadswalk Challenge.

Dean Keats and friends who are taking part in the Broadswalk Challenge. - Credit: Supplied

Thirteen friends are to raise £25,000 through a charity run for one of their number, Dean Keats, who has facial palsy.

Nine of the group - who met at the  University in Lincoln - will be running 33 miles around the Norfolk Broads, while the rest of them will be running in various spots around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Australia and the US. 

Mr Keats, who is a PE teacher at Aylsham High School, said he was thrilled that his friends had banded together to raise money and awareness of his condition, known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. 

From left, Bradley Rea, Jamie Kitching and Ollie Ezard will be among the runners in the Broadswalk Challenge.

From left, Bradley Rea, Jamie Kitching and Ollie Ezard will be among the runners in the Broadswalk Challenge. - Credit: Supplied

He described the onset of the syndrome late last year as "frightening".

Mr Keats said: "I spent quite some time in severe pain and was being sick relentlessly in the early stages. I had a couple of trips in an ambulance as my symptoms were that strong and scary. When part of your face loses its ability to function you fear the worse. 


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"I also feel slightly frustrated because I was told it was many things and wasted lots of time before being diagnosed. I need to fight this condition.

"Facial Palsy UK have been my guiding light throughout, offering me with all the advice I need to fight this condition - that's why I'm so proud of the boys for stepping up and raising awareness of them."

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Mr Keats plans to join in the June 12 run - know as the Broadswalk Challenge - supported by his wife Keshia and three-year-old son Dylan.

Dean Keats and friends who are taking part in the Broadswalk Challenge.

Dean Keats and friends who are taking part in the Broadswalk Challenge. - Credit: Supplied

Another of the running team, Bradley Rea, said:  "It will be a mixture of trail and road running - from Aylsham, around Weavers Way and back to Acle Social Club.

"Training has been hard for everyone but very good, we had a variety of abilities when training started and this has resulted in a few of the lads picking up little niggles on the way. Some have found finding the time to train between their jobs and home lives very hard but no one will not do the run, we will all finish for Dean and Facial Palsy UK."

To donate to their appeal, visit the Charity Lads Broads 50km Challenge page.

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