To mark the start of Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, we are shining the spotlight on one of our fantastic UK fundraisers Ryan Crane completed an incredible fundraising challenge in support of Smile Train – the largest cleft-focused charity -earlier this year.
Having been born with a cleft lip and palate, which involved a series of operations from just a few days old and throughout his childhood, Ryan is all too familiar with the struggles that can come with being born with a cleft. Whilst Ryan was fortunate enough to have access to a high level of medical care on the NHS, many children all over the world are not in this position – and this has been the inspiration behind his desire to raise money for Smile Train.
While Ryan has always had an interest in running, having taken part in the London, Brighton and Paris marathons previously, he wanted to push himself to the furthest his fitness has ever gone before. This drive to challenge himself and raise funds for Smile Train led him to run three marathons in just three weeks during the month of April.
Ryan was aware of just how difficult this challenge would be, both physically and mentally, and set himself to work by training four times a week, including a long run every Sunday in the build-up to the first Marathon, which was the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 2nd April.
Ryan was then faced with the task of running the Manchester Marathon on Sunday 16th April and ending his challenge just a week later with the London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April.
Commenting on his choice to support Smile Train, Ryan said:
“Smile Train has always been a charity I have a lot of time and respect for. I admire the work they do and the number of children and families that they support. Having been through the journey myself, I have a personal connection to any charity that supports children and families affected by clefts.”
Over the course of his challenge, Ryan has managed to raise an incredible £2,730 for Smile Train UK, changing the lives of children across the globe and helping to change the world, one smile at a time. We’re looking forward to hearing what’s next for Ryan!
If you are interested in hearing more about Smile Train and how to turn your miles into smiles with Team Empower, please visit: www.smiletrain.org.uk/get-involved/team-empower.