A READING man has overcome his physical and mental obstacles to chase a life-changing goal, beginning with a four-month physical training programme and ending with a first-ever 10km run.

Wassim Chokri, aged 32, was one of nine people across the UK to participate in Bridgestone’s Everyday Battlers campaign, where he embarked on a four-month journey to get into shape for a 10km run which he recently completed at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.

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Wassim has suffered with Neurofibromatosis since birth, a rare condition which sees tumours grow across his body and sees him have to undergo regular operations.

His story touched the hearts of a Bridgestone judging panel, who immediately contacted him to take part.

Bridgestone enlisted the help of Olympic Games Rio 2016 gold medallist Chris Mears and performance psychologist, Professor Greg Whyte for the challenge, both of whom provided both mental and physical support during Wassim’s journey.

Reading Chronicle:

Wassim said: “I could barely run one kilometre to begin with and I suffer daily with intense pain, owing to the tumour on my leg.

"I remember running 200m at the beginning and I couldn’t go on.

"I thought it was an impossible dream.

“Physically and mentally, it was tough."

He explained it was "amazing" to cross the finish line.

He continued: "Now I have proved to myself that I can do something special and hopefully become an inspiration to people with ailments or medical conditions like mine.

"This is the beginning for me now.

"I’ll be doing more park runs, and will look to do more 10k runs in the future. "Bridgestone has helped me discover that anything can be achieved with a positive mindset.”

Reading Chronicle:

Synchronised springboard diving champion Chris created the unique task for a group of people to conquer, calling on all his experience of having to fight to realise his own dreams against all odds, when he almost died from a ruptured spleen as a 16-year-old.

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He was told it was likely that he would never dive again.

However, with a fighting spirit and surrounded by a team of medical professionals, fitness trainers and psychologists, he overcame the odds to return to the diving board.

Chris said: “I don’t think the participants quite understand how much they have inspired me. They’ve done something remarkable and are a great source of inspiration to me and everyone at Bridgestone.

“Completing a 10km run is a huge prospect for some people who might never dream of participating for a number of reasons, let alone complete the race.

“We were touched by Wassim’s personal story which underpinned his place as an Everyday Battler and it was a very emotional moment to see him cross the finish line.”