A FORMER homeless man who dragged himself back from a life of drink, drugs and hunger is running the world’s toughest marathon to help needy people all over the city.
David Ross will run 156km across the burning Sahara desert in the Marathon de Sables to raise £10,000 for MK Food Bank.
“I know what is to be hungry and I want to do everything I can to help this charity,” he said.
Now 30, David joined the army when he left Sir Frank Markham School at 16 and spent four successful years with the Paras.
“It was easy. I got three meals a day cooked for me, I was told exactly what to do and I had plenty of money. ”
David believes it was because he had never learned to think for himself that his life took a spectacular tumble as soon as he left the army.
“I was 20, I didn’t have a job and I was drinking like a fish. I ignored my good friends, became homeless and started taking drugs.
“I was a mess. I’d sleep on sofas whenever I could and went hungry a lot of the time. When I reached rock bottom I slept rough on a bench near the pub at Eaglestone. I couldn’t see any way to help myself”
Today David is a successful, smartly-dressed businessman who has a white-collar job with council contractors Mitie’s.
The transformation, he says, is due to Milton Keynes Christian Foundation, which provided him with a flat for £2.50 a week in Wolverton and offered him support with training, job seeking and budgeting.
“I was so grateful to the Foundation that I took every bit of help they offered. I went on every course in every subject,” he said.
“Now it’s time to give something back. When I started looking for charities to help, the Food Bank stood out from the rest. They were inspirational.”
David is seeking companies or individuals to sponsor him for his run, which will be televised. Details are on Just Giving under davidversusthe-desert14.
His training for the marathon can be followed on Twitter @davidvdesert