MS sufferer Grant Adams, 48, of Durban, along with Andrew Murray, 47, and a group of their friends will compete in the 2018 Comrades Marathon this weekend to get Adams a Comrades medal.
The team consists of nine people, but Murray is the only one allowed to push Adams.
“Andrew and I were sitting together about a year ago, having some coffee, and he said what are the things you miss (about your life) before having MS. I listed that I miss my balance, I miss walking down stairs and I’ve always wanted a Comrades medal. He met me the next day and said ‘I can’t do all these things but I can get you a Comrades medal’, and that’s where it started,” explained Adams.
He was diagnosed with MS, a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves, in 2007.
“This is a story of friendship,” he said. “I thought he was joking but we had a few more meetings and then we phoned Comrades. In order to do it, we have to do two things - get a custom-made three-wheeler and qualify in a marathon, 42km under five hours, which we did in February in Pietermaritzburg. It was the most amazing thing: something I thought was taken away, Andrew has given back to me.”
He used to play a great deal of sport and his wife, Doody, said Andrew had put the wind back in his hair and allowed him to compete again.
“When we did the qualifying marathon in Pietermaritzburg, Doody said she would never forget when I pinned the number on my shirt the night before,” he said.
When they ran in Pietermaritzburg, he was not having a good day. Then he realised that his team was not there for themselves, but for him to fulfil his dream.
“It’s brutal just running yourself, imagine pushing someone? You’re out of your mind,” he exclaimed.
Murray said: “Come hook or by crook we’re going to cross that finish line in Durban on June 10. Ultimately this whole journey is about Grant and it’s for Grant. I know he would joke and say he wouldn’t, but if the roles were reversed, he’d be doing the exact same thing for me.”
Murray always told Adams the community wanted to help.
“Everybody knows him, everybody loves Grant.
“It’s an exciting day for me as well. The training and preparation, everything leading up to the Comrades, has been an incredible journey.”