Russell Fox, 43, who was born with an array of life challenges - including autism, epilepsy, asthma and dyslexia - will attempt to break the world record by walking barefeet for 32km on broken glass at the V&A Waterfront on Friday.

Cape Town - A crowdfunding initiative aims to raise funds for awareness about autism and, at the same time, break a Guinness World Record.

Russell Fox, 43, who was born with an array of life challenges - including autism, epilepsy, asthma and dyslexia - will attempt to break the world record by walking barefoot for 32km on broken glass at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on Friday, to raise R500 000 for Nosh for Josh, a non-profit organisation.

Fox, a magician, described the challenge as an experience which takes a lot of mental preparation.

“The challenge isn't something I can practise for and both the mental and physical endurance is not an easy journey," he said.

Today, Fox is a thriving businessman and an internationally acclaimed Master in the art of Magic, Illusion, Perceptionism and Mentalism and has performed numerous times on an international stage.

Gabriela Rishka Wiener, of Nosh for Josh, said: "We are extremely grateful for the work that is being done by Fox. With additional funding, Nosh for Josh hopes to establish a centre for workshops, mentoring and training, providing children with life skills and also to mentor parents who have children with special needs.

“We want the public to join us in raising awareness about an illness that isn’t spoken about as much as it should be and, with the help of BackaBuddy, crowdfund to change the lives of children living with autism.”

In order to earn the Glass Walker title, the challenge needs to be completed in under 29 hours.

The money raised will benefit the children and they can be sent to India at the NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, proven to be 91 percent effective in curing the illness. Excluding flight costs, this procedure alone is calculated at R150 000 per operation.

Fox said that, in this way, by creating a platform or community providing training, support, care, an ear to listen and shoulder to cry on, these families will be given the voice they so need.

“Help us connect with these families by helping them open up and see that there is hope for their kids and families.

"We need people to stop thinking that they did something wrong to cause their kids to be like this, they need to know that something can be done to help them in spite of monetary or circumstantial situations,” he said.

Cape Argus

* The event will start at 5pm on Friday and end on Saturday at 10am. Anyone wanting to donate or take part can contact Sandy 079 506 8623, or Gabriela 078 155 0752, or follow the link :https://www.backabuddy.co.za/glass-walker-challenge