FIVE Falmouth friends are closing in on their target of running 5000km this year in order to raise funds for two young boys.

Benjamin Maddern and Stanley Barnes are the sons of two local and much-loved families.

These boys are both suffering from congenital illnesses, which ultimately make it much harder for them to play, learn and grow.

Late last year, friends Mary Heard, Leila Doney, Gail Muller, Jane Pascoe and Becky Westlake decided to do what they could in order to try to raise money for these children – hoping to make the lads' lives easier in some way.

The five friends have juggled families, work and travel around running 1000km each.

Some snatch short 1-2km stints every day when they are returning from walking their own children from school, whereas others have preferred to make bigger inroads with 20km+ coastal runs.

Either way, they have ploughed through rain, hail and battering winds as they approach their incredible target.

Stanley was diagnosed with the terminal and debilitating disease Sanfilippo Type A in 2014.

It is an incredibly rare condition which currently affects only 40 children in the entire UK.

The disease has no cure, and Stanley’s condition will sadly worsen.

He will begin to unlearn all he has learned through his childhood as his cells begin to die, due to a lack of the key enzyme that should be present to help his body function correctly.

His family are dedicated to helping him live his short life to the fullest and enjoy as many activities as he can with them, before his condition begins to deteriorate and he needs full time care.

Benjamin Maddern was born prematurely in 2015, and MRI scans later showed brain damage.

Benjamin, grandson of former Falmouth School PE teacher Jeff Maddern, was discovered to be blind, have cerebral palsy and a rare form of epilepsy.

His movement and ability to develop are heavily impaired, however despite all of these challenges, he is a bright and happy little boy who will make significant improvement with the right stimuli.

His family hope to create a sensory room for him, to be able to learn to explore and safely move around as he learns and grows. This little running group of five great friends have set themselves a fundraising target of £2000 by the end of 2018, with £1000 intended to go to each family.

If you’d like to donate please visit - no amount is too small and all donations are very gratefully received.