Great Britain

Disabled boy attempts to walk marathon for Wirral Hospitals

A DISABLED boy who could barely walk 100 metres at the start of lockdown, is now attempting to complete a marathon inside 30 days for the Globe-backed Covid-19 Support Fund.

Six-year-old Will Ritchie, from Port Sunlight, was only a day old when his parents discovered that he was severely sight impaired.

Three months later he was diagnosed with Encephalocraniocutaneous Lipomatosis and at nine months old it was confirmed that he has epilepsy.

The latter has been by far his biggest battle. Will, who attends Elleray Park Special School in Wallasey, has never had a seizure-free day since his diagnosis in February 2015.

Will's dad Adam Ritchie told the Globe: "Will isn’t much of a walker, his balance isn’t great and he likes to challenge our balance too!

Wirral Globe: Adam and Janet Ritchie, with Will and his brother TedAdam and Janet Ritchie, with Will and his brother Ted

"However during lockdown we’ve taken the opportunity to try and increase his exercise tolerance a little bit more and get him to walk that little bit further. In the first week he was only able to manage about 100m before giving up, but now we’re on 1,500 metres.

"It takes us a good 45 minutes to do it and most walks include a seizure or two, but he gets there. I didn’t think I’d ever see the day to be honest."

Buoyed by the rapid progress they have seen in their son, Adam and wife Janet have set him a challenge for June - Will’s Marathon Month.

Each day Will's parents will attempt to walk 1,500m with him, helped along by three-year-old brother Ted. If successful, he will have walked 45km by the end of the month, just shy of 28 miles but beyond the marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

Wirral Globe:

Will's dad added: "We wanted to share his little journey. Not only to spur us all on, but to hopefully encourage others to push through and achieve something they never thought would be possible."

Raising money for the Wirral University Teaching Hospital Covid-19 Support Fund, Will is off to a flyer, having already raised over £2,000.

To donate, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Janet-Ritchie

This week, the Globe-backed WUTH Covid-19 appeal has passed the £50,000 mark.

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