DAVE Morris is a very special kind of best man.
The strong man from Craven Arms will be taking on an iron man challenge to help a special little boy from Ludlow.
Dave was the best man of Nicky and Matthew Morris who live in Steventon New Road.
Three years ago Nicky gave birth to their first son but after a few months it became apparent that something was seriously wrong.
Toby was found to be suffering from severe Cerebral Palsy and complex form of Epilepsy.
This means that even with Nicky giving up work, caring for Toby presents many challenges with the need for specialist equipment and major adaptations to the family home.
But friends are rallying around to help with raising much-needed funds.
At the front of the queue is Dave, who also suffers from Epilepsy, and who will be competing in the UK Ironman triathlon to aid the appeal.
Dave and Matthew have known each other a long time and used to cycle together, although Matthew has had to hang up his wheels.
“Toby faces huge difficulties – he can’t talk or walk, or even sit unaided, and suffers multiple seizures every day,” said Matthew, aged 39.
“But despite all of that he’s a smiley, happy little person that doesn’t let his condition hold him back.
“We do however face some big expenses for things like mobility and sensory equipment and additional therapies that will help Toby develop his muscle control and motor skills, enable relief from painful joints and assist with day-to-day tasks that other boys his age take for granted.
“As a boy with special needs, Toby needs a lot of assistance, and my wife Nicky has dedicated herself to looking after him full-time.”
To raise money for Toby, Dave Morris is attempting the UK Ironman triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by 110-mile bike ride and a 26 mile run, on July 20.
So far he's raised just over £2,000.
“Nicky and I are very touched with what people are doing to help us,” added Matthew.
Matthew, who works from home as a graphic designer, and Nicky, aged 33, say they also hope to help raise awareness of Toby’s condition.
Seven weeks ago Nicky gave birth to Eleri and so the family is even busier.
Dave said that he wanted to help out as a way of thanking people for all the support he has received since being diagnosed with epilepsy.
“Doing an Ironman, to help raise money which will directly benefit their day to day lives, is a drop in the ocean for what they have, as friends, done for me since I’ve had epilepsy,” said Dave.
“This family deserve all the support we can give them.”
Anyone who wants to help can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01584 318613 or visit www.justgiving.com/teams/epilepticironman
People can also donate via text if they wish, by texting TOBY68 and the amount they wish to donate to 70070.