How to cope with life when things get tough - amputee athlete Abdifatah Dhuhulow gives inspirational message to Dickleburgh Primary School children at event in aid of Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
Coping with life when things get tough is one of the most important lessons a child can learn.
And one group of primary schoolchildren got a truly motivational talk from an inspiring amputee about how he has overcome his difficulties to become a top athlete.
Abdifatah Dhuhulow lost a leg after he was badly injured during the civil war in Somalia in 1991.
He took up running to help improve his physical strength and later amazed many by running a marathon in 3hrs 15mins.
Since Christmas he has been an ambassador for Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope, which raises money to help amputee children around the world and was co-founded by Harleston resident Victoria Panton Bacon.
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Dickleburgh Primary School children ran five marathons in five days to help raise money for the charity, with Mr Dhuhulow visiting for assembly on the final day to give the youngsters a final motivational message before their last run.
And his words clearly inspired the children, as they set their fastest time shortly after the talk.
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Ms Panton Bacon said: 'It couldn't have gone better.
'He spoke to them about courage and coping with things when they get difficult.
'He told them his story and it was a really wonderful motivational talk.
'It was a wonderful example to them about why they're raising money and why the charity is so important.
'It had a great impact - they listened to him very quietly and you could see them being really wowed by what he said.
'They've never met anyone like him. The whole thing was really uplifting.'
The children began their marathon fund-raising challenge in support of year-one teacher Rheanna Lascelles, who is running this year's London Marathon with Ms Panton Bacon for Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope.
'The charity is very close to Victoria and I thought it would be nice for children to help other children,' Mrs Lascelles said.
'The children are very enthusiastic and some of them have done extra jobs around the house to get extra sponsorship.
'The children are very keen to help others. It is very important they understand that we're very lucky and not everyone is quite as lucky as we are. I can go out for a run but there are children who can't.'
Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope was co-founded by Ms Panton Bacon and her sister Sarah Hope after their mother was killed in a horrific bus crash in London 10 years ago.
The same crash left Sarah seriously injured and her daughter Pollyanna lost her left leg below the knee.
Ms Panton Bacon is calling for 1,000 people to sponsor her £5 by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/VeePantonBacon