Little superhero fascinated by great-great-grandad’s military medals takes on walking challenge for Help for Heroes

A toddler fascinated by his great-great-grandad’s military medals is raising money for Help for Heroes by walking three miles dressed as a superhero.

By diana stannard
Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 1:24 pm
Addison-Lee Darby
Addison-Lee Darby

Addison-Lee Darby, two, will be wearing his great-grandad’s maroon beret on his 5km challenge which has won the backing of triple-amputee and former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod who successfully challenged himself recently to run the same distance using prosthetic legs.

Supported by his family, Addison-Lee will be walking from Thurnscoe to the next village of Great Houghton, Barnsley, on Thursday (April 8) afternoon which is expected to take about an hour depending on how much encouragement he needs.

Addison-Lee’s mum, Sharna Donson, 28, said they had initially hoped to raise £5 but the amount has now topped £500 and is still climbing.

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Addison-Lee Darby

She said: “My uncle was in the army and my grandad and my great-grandad served in the Parachute Regiment. My great-grandad, Lawrence Wainwright, fought in the Second World War and was awarded medals which Addison-Lee loves to look at and hear stories about,” she said.

“He is a gorgeous, kind, caring and loving little boy as well as very determined so I definitely think he will manage the walk. His favourite superhero is Spiderman so he will be easy to spot on the route.

“My sister has my great-grandad’s beret from when he was in the Parachute Regiment so she’s letting Addison-Lee wear that for his walk which will be really special and emotional for us all.”

“It has been such a horrible year that we really didn’t expect people to be able to support us in the way they have so we are thrilled that they’ve really got behind Addison-Lee’s challenge,” Sharna explained.

Lawrence Wainwright

She had planned to marry Addison-Lee’s dad, Adam, last August but the wedding had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. “It was heart-breaking and we haven’t rebooked it yet so Addison’s sponsored walk has really been the first thing we’ve been able to arrange and look forward to.”

Addison-Lee’s event has attracted the attention of war hero Mark who has donated to his fundraising page and sent the little boy a good luck video message. Mark lost both legs and his right arm when he stood on an improvised explosive device while out on foot patrol in Afghanistan in 2007 and has been supported by Help for Heroes

He said: “I’m backing Addison-Lee because for a two-year-old to walk 5km is a pretty gangster move. It’s epic for a child of his age to be determined enough to do this, I hope it inspires all the grown-ups out there to sign up to something like Couch to 5k and show their support to Addison-Lee.”

The little boy who turns three in May is building up his stamina for the big day by running around his garden and jumping on his trampoline.

Sharna Donson

The event was inspired by local woman Megan Rodgers who is undertaking a year of fundraising feats for Help for Heroes.

Addison-Lee’s fundraising page can be donated to here