We met around 4 years ago on the school run, our children where in the same class together and we have enjoyed some great nights out and chilled days with our families! Del is one of the most inspirational people I've met. His bravery, and determination to overcome major trauma & his mental health battles will inspire you to live life to the fullest. He has gone from being unable to walk 100m without support to running a marathon unaided.
But he is about to embark on one of the biggest challenges of his life! He will attempt to walk 7 marathons in 7 days in and around Norfolk to raise money for OCF, the charity that helped him get his life back on track. The march will take place from 27th March, finishing on 2nd April. He's named this challenge March Fore Mulligans, it would be a daunting task for anyone but Del is missing 30% of his spine!!! It blows my mind that he is even considering doing this challenge...
So here is Del's story in his words:
"I joined the Army as a 16-year-old in 1999 I joined the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglians (The Vikings). My career was cut short after 17 years due to breaking my back whilst serving, I underwent 4 major spinal surgeries. The final surgery was in 2016 and this is where things started to get bad for me. There were complications with the surgery and it resulted in me having to have 30% of my spine removed and replaced with metal, framework and bolts.
I lost my forces family
After this surgery, I suffered mentally and physically. Within a month, my career had ended and I was left unable to care for myself. The mental suffering came from the fact I didn’t know what my future would look like after so long in the forces. I lost my forces family and that is hard to replace.
I couldn't be the husband & father I wanted to be
I had to deal with the fact I couldn’t be the husband and father I wanted to be. I had a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old at the time and I didn’t even have the strength to pick them up if they hurt themselves. And one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced as a man and father was needing help from my 4-year-old son to put my socks on for me, this made me feel so inadequate. I know my kids were young and didn’t know any different but I did.
The On Course Foundation (OCF) Charity changed my life
Everything changed for me when I found the on course foundation (OCF) it’s a golf charity that helps injured and sick personnel recover through golf. I found the Army family I was missing, they gave me my confidence back and they gave me a purpose again, I met people going through all the things I was going through.
I can still be the man I want to be
OCF made me realise I could still be the man I wanted to be & they gave me my life back saying they saved my life would be a lie but they certainly changed my life and I will forever be indebted to them.
OCF helped me get my current job
When I first joined the OCF I couldn’t walk 100 meters unassisted and within 2 years I ran the London Marathon and represented Great Britain in a golf event against USA. The OCF also helped get me the job I currently have as Asst golf operations manager at Barnham Broom Hotel.
Why am I doing this event to raise money? The easy answer is there are hundreds of men and women out there not as lucky as me and I want to ensure the charity can continue to change their lives and there family’s like it did mine.
This is by far the hardest challenge I have ever taken on and any support would be so appreciated by not only myself but by the hundreds, it will benefit in the future".
Thank you to Del for sharing such a personal story with us! I will be joining Del for some parts of his challenge! Can you spare some cash and help us to raise money for this amazing charity? We would really appreciate your support, we have just donated £150 from Jorge's Restaurant, any donation you can spare no matter how small will be gratefully received. Please find the link for Del's just giving page below.
👉 DONATE HERE: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/del-sullivan1? 👈