Perry keeps vow to wheel it for disease

Perry Cunningham, who suffers from spina bifida, wheeled himself in the HBF Run for A Reason event on Sunday to keep a vow to his friend Zoe, who had cystic fibrosis and died in November, 2010. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d419168
Perry Cunningham, who suffers from spina bifida, wheeled himself in the HBF Run for A Reason event on Sunday to keep a vow to his friend Zoe, who had cystic fibrosis and died in November, 2010. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d419168

When the 28-year-old wheeled himself along the course, he was doing it for his best friend Zoe, who had cystic fibrosis (CF) and died in November, 2010.

‘The last thing Zoe made me promise was that I would do everything in my power to find a cure for CF, so that is why I do this, without even thinking of the consequences to my own health,’ Mr Cunningham said.

He was born with spina bifida, which meant he spent a large chunk of his childhood in hospital and is now in a wheelchair.

‘I struggled in school as I was bullied a lot, but used that as motivation to keep going in life ” I graduated Year 12 in 2003 with honours as a prefect and house captain,’ he said.

‘Mum always taught me to have a perspective bigger than myself because there is always someone out there doing it tougher than me and this has helped me a lot.’

Mr Cunningham knew Zoe closely for two years before she died.

‘Zoe was the most selfless, sweet, beautiful and inspiring person I have ever known, seriously,’ he said.

‘She would often be sick and in hospital herself because of CF, yet she would be contacting me and others just to make sure we are doing well in life.’

The HBF Run for a Reason was held on Sunday. To donate, visit http://hbfrun2014.everyday hero.com/au/perry