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Offbeat Boy with cerebral palsy raises £40k as he completes marathon in walker

18:56  31 may  2020
18:56  31 may  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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a group of people standing next to a car: Tobias, pictured here with his mum Ruth Garbutt, has raised £40,000 for charity © Other Tobias, pictured here with his mum Ruth Garbutt, has raised £40,000 for charity

A nine-year-old boy with cerebral palsy has completed the final leg of what he called his "ginormous challenge" to walk a marathon using his walker during lockdown.

Neighbours cheered as Tobias Weller crossed the finish line after walking 750 metres on the streets near his home in Sheffield to complete the challenge.

His original fundraising target was £500 but he has now raised more than £40,000 which will be split between his special school Paces and Sheffield Children's Hospital.

"Captain Tobias", as he is now known to his friends after he was inspired by the fundraising of Captain Tom Moore, said he was feeling "magnificent" as he finished the walk.

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He said: "Every bit of it has been totally awesome.

"I love it when my neighbours clap and cheer for me. I'm getting stronger and stronger every day. It's such a good feeling."

Reflecting on the amount of money he raised, he continued: "It makes me feel really happy.

"I'm chuffed to bits to raise loads of money. Other children who aren't as lucky as me can benefit from the money that's been raised."

His mother, Ruth Garbutt, presented him with a medal as he crossed the finish line.

She said: "I'm so, so proud of Tobias. I'm bursting with pride for all he's achieved and how hard he's worked during the marathon.

"When we started the marathon he was doing 50 metres a day and now he's doing 750 metres a day. He couldn't propel the walker at the start of the marathon and now he can, he can push it on the flat and he's proved today he can push it uphill as well."

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Among those cheering him on was the headteacher of Paces School in Sheffield, Ruth Liu, who spoke of the pride all his teachers feel for what Tobias has managed to do.

She said: "It's absolutely amazing. And it's down to his real hard work and determination that he's been able to achieve what he's done today.

a group of people walking down the street: Tobias' neighbours cheered him on as he headed to the finish line © Other Tobias' neighbours cheered him on as he headed to the finish line

"It's amazing."

She added that the money he has raised will go towards a building project at the school.

Mrs Liu continued: "We've got plans for a new purpose build with fantastic facilities, hydrotherapy pools, sensory room and facilities for more children so we're going to be able to help many more families, many more children, which will make such a difference to our community."

a group of young men standing in front of a building: Tobias has donated the money to his special school Paces and Sheffield Children’s Hospital © Other Tobias has donated the money to his special school Paces and Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Caitlin Hallatt from The Children's Hospital Charity said staff at Sheffield Children's Hospital where Tobias has received regular treatment have been following his progress throughout the challenge.

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Ms Hallatt said: "We've had so many messages of support from people in the physio team, people across the hospital who've got to know Tobias and his love of jelly! And he's just inspired us all at the hospital.

"Tobias' fundraising will go to our current appeal. At the minute we're fundraising for a new emergency department, a new cancer ward and a helipad on the roof. So massive projects which unfortunately due to everything going on the funding has slowed down so Tobias' fundraising is so important and so amazing and we couldn't be more grateful to him."

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This is interesting!