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Southwater runner sends message of ‘hope’ to alcoholism sufferers

JPCT 290114 S14050226x Rob Roberts marathon runner, 70-year-old is running the Brighton Marathon -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 290114 S14050226x Rob Roberts marathon runner, 70-year-old is running the Brighton Marathon -photo by Steve Cobb

A recovering alcoholic is desperate to spread his message of hope as he prepares to run the Brighton Marathon for a local charity in April.

Rob Roberts, 70, from Southwater, is raising money for The Ark charity, based in Horsham.

Having lived with alcoholism for decades, Rob now suffers from Korsakoff’s Syndrome, a severe loss of brain cells due to alcohol abuse.

Discussing his condition, he said: “The next stage is becoming a vegetable or death, and I really don’t want that to happen to anyone.

“I have this strong desire to get a message out to anyone in despair, that there is always hope.

“I just want to keep doing that now and show gratitude until my last breath.”

Rob explained how the ‘turning point’ for him involved visiting a church in Northern Ireland, where he heard a message of hope that inspired him to keep going.

He added that the work done by the Ark to help people in need can be a lifeline.

He said: “I am trying to reach out to people from my heart. I could almost cry in despair when I see the same faces keep turning up (at the Ark) but they do have success.

“I believe they have enabled over 300 to be housed so far.

“It is much easier to give a pound to a child than an alcoholic on the street.”

Rob developed a minor heart condition around a decade ago, but had successful treatment, meaning he can still run following his 70th birthday.

He added: “I just want to give a message of hope because a lot of people give up.”

To sponsor Rob, click here.

 

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