A busy fund-raising schedule for Norfolk legal executive

A legal executive from Norfolk has taken on the roles of musician, fitness coach, martial arts instructor and marathon runner in his efforts to raise money for a charity that close to his heart.

Nic Sheldrake's wife Julie, 38, and son Thomas, two, have a brittle bone condition.

They have type one Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is the less severe end of the scale.

But Mr Sheldrake, 43, who lives in Great Dunham, near Dereham, has met children who are more severely affected during his trips to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where Thomas is treated for two days every six months.

Mr Sheldrake, a legal executive for Hayes and Storr Solicitors in Fakenham, said: 'It has been quite traumatic for Thomas some times but fortunately his and Julie's conditions are not very severe.

'Thomas has a fracture on his arm which has meant his elbow is slightly out of shape. But in Sheffield we have met a four-year-old lad from Belfast called Robert who is wheelchair-bound.

'I've heard about a girl who broke both arms when she caught a beach ball, because her bones are so weak.

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'Some of these children and their families are so incredibly brave and you have to admire the way they take things in their stride. It makes us realise how lucky we are.'

Mr Sheldrake started fund-raising for the Brittle Bones Society in July.

He aims to raise �3,000 and has raised about half of that amount so far.

He has been giving fitness classes and martial arts lessons at the recently opened Cromwell Barn Health and Fitness Centre in Fakenham, which provides facilities free of charge.

Members of the Anglia Academy of TaeKwon-Do, Icon Jiu-Jitsu and Xtreme Fighting Academy have been taking part in the self defence classes and donating generously.

Mr Sheldrake has also been sponsored to record Bob Marley, John Denver, Neil Diamond and Katy Perry songs on You Tube.

His main fund-raising event will be running the London Marathon, on April 22.

Mr Sheldrake said: 'On my first training run I ran about three or four miles and was exhausted, but I'm now confident that I'll be able to get round. I'd like to do it in four hours but my main priority will be to ensure that I don't get picked up by the bus.'

He added: 'The response from the community has been fantastic so far and I really have to thank everyone who has sponsored me.'

Osteogenesis Imperfecta is hereditary but Mr and Mrs Sheldrake's other child, Sam, four, does not have the condition.

Mrs Sheldrake, herself a solicitor with Malletts in King's Lynn, said: 'When I was a child I jumped off a step and broke my leg. I broke my shoulder when I gave someone a piggyback. But my condition has improved in adulthood. The main problem I now have is that it affects my hearing and I have to use a hearing aid but I'm hoping that will be sorted out.

'When I was a child so little was known about the condition and the doctor would just tell me to be more careful.

'But, thanks to the Brittle Bone Society, knowledge has improved so much and we are benefiting because Thomas's condition is improving. We are raising money so others can benefit like we have.'

To sponsor Mr Sheldrake go to www.justgiving.com/nictkd

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