Brave challenge by Andrew and Suzy

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Among the thousands of participants in this year’s Robin Hood Marathon were two very special runners from Hucknall.

Andrew Dawkins, the dad of Freddie and Louie Dawkins, ran the course blindfolded with the help of his guide and friend, Suzy Jackson.

The pair not only took part to boost funds for the Battle Batten fund but also to raise awareness of the disease and its effects.

“I’ll only be ‘blind’ for about two hours whilst I complete the race but my boys and many others are blind every day,” said Andrew before the event.

The boys, who turned nine last week, are believed to be the only identical twins in the world with the neurodegenerative Batten Disease.

As part of a huge campaign to raise £50,000, launched in the Dispatch back in February, the Annesley Road based family are fighting to fund a research project into the particular strain of the disease that the boys suffer with.

“It was really inspiring to take part and the crowd really kept us going,” said Suzy who has helped the family with the campaign. “They kept cheering us on all the way.”

These feelings were echoed by Andrew, who had run the London Marathon earlier in the year.

“The support was amazing and a runner we didn’t even know helped us for five miles, getting us water and telling runners in front that I was blindfolded.

Andrew also inspired other runners during the event.

“A man at the finish line said I had helped him finish the race when he felt like giving up.”

So far the appeal, with much help from the community, friends and family have collected £35,340.

The fund was boosted this week not only from Andrew and Suzy’s efforts but from a family disco held at Hucknall Town Football Club on Saturday. This collected over £1,000.

Don’t forget to book your tickets for the Black Tie Ball for Battle Batten at the Goosedale Centre on 8th November. To book tickets, priced at £45 each, visit or call 07866 971853/07740 697022 or email