2044. Aaron Kerr
Aaron Kerr, from County Down, has completed over 50 marathons in his custom-built running chair, pushed by his parents, and campaigned to make marathons and road events across the UK more accessible for assisted runners.
Aaron was born with chronic renal failure, which resulted in a kidney transplant in 2010 at the age of 13. Aaron has also been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a chromosome disorder. Aaron’s mother, Sandra, found running helped her to cope with the enormity of the situation, both physically and mentally, and so the family, known as ‘Team Kerr’, decided in 2014 to start running together, also finding it a way to break the barriers of social stigma around disability.
Having spent seven years campaigning for assisted runners to be permitted to compete in the London Marathon, in 2021, ‘Team Kerr’ were invited to participate in the consultation process on the inclusive future of the event and, as a result, assisted runners were able to take part in 2022 and 2023. In this year’s marathon, ‘Team Kerr’ were fundraising for the Mae Murray Foundation, founded by fellow Point of Light, Alix Crawford and also received the ‘Spirit of London Marathon award’.
Aaron has also published a children’s book, ‘Aaron’s Great Big Green Running Machine’, which has been distributed to schools across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland to open up conversations about disability.
Aaron’s mother and father, Sandra and David, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that Aaron’s hard work in making running more inclusive, has been recognised in this way. Aaron is a great role model for others with complex needs, demonstrating that you can achieve great things with a little support.”
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, said:
“The work which Aaron and his family have done on behalf of assisted runners has made a real difference in widening participation. On top of this their fundraising has benefitted worthy causes and Aaron’s children’s book is helping young people to discuss disability.
Congratulations to Aaron for this Points of Light Award, which recognises his dedication to breaking down stigma and improving the lives of disabled people.”
See more about ‘Team Kerr’