‘Blind Dave’ Heeley
Dave is a true “Black Country Legend” who recently became Sandwell’s Honorary freeman.
He has performed incredible feats of endurance all to raise money for charity and this is even more remarkable as Dave has been blind since he was a teenager when he was diagnosed with Retinitas Pigmentosa.
Dave born and bred in West Bromwich earned international fame when he became the first blind person to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days in 2008.
This epic challenge, which took him on a running journey around the world began on 7th April in the Falkland Islands (Antarctica), Rio, Brazil, (South America), Los Angeles, (North America), Sydney, (Australasia), Dubai, (Asia), Tunisia, (Africa), with the challenge ending in the Flora London marathon, (Europe), on 13th April. Dave was acknowledged later in the year at the BBC Midlands Sports Awards for “Outstanding Sporting Achievement.
Dave developed a career as a “motivational speaker” and became Sandwell’s Physical Activities Champion in 2009. In 2011, Dave completed a John O’Groats to Land’s End running and cycling challenge for Macmillan Cancer Relief – 1,000 miles in 10 days.
Every morning starting with a marathon (26.2 miles), then exchanging trainers for cycle gear and cycling to the nights destination, a combination of running & cycling over 100 miles a day.
The journey started 10th August out of John O’Groats, heading towards Lands’ End, via, Drumnadrochit, Loch Lomond, Lockerbie, Lancaster, Stoke, West Bromwich/Birmingham, Weston, Okehampton, Truro and finally on 19th August, Lands’ End. He recently became the first British blindman to complete the Marathon des Sables, a gruelling 156 mile run across the Sahara Desert (http://thealbionfoundation.co.uk/?page_id=18438)
Dave regularly attends events at The Albion Foundation and we are very, very proud to have him as an ambassador.