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SpecialEffect News

29 Jun 2020

Samuel’s spectacular 9km success!

The past few months have seen some incredible individual challenges taking place, with some amazing examples of supporters going the extra mile to raise money for SpecialEffect. Some of the most stand-out moments have seen young people taking centre-stage, whether that be Sam’s ‘virtual’ wheelchair 5k or the Tilling boys’ awesome community cycle challenge to name just two.

This weekend has seen another incredible young man undertaking an epic personal challenge that has completely blown us all away. Samuel, who is nearly 9 years old, set himself the goal of running/ walking 9km around his hometown, a kilometre for every year of his young life. His mother, Charlotte, picks up the story:

“Samuel […] was born very premature and very small, he weighed just 800g. He had a stroke when he was 3 days old that destroyed nearly all of the right side of his brain and left him with little chance of survival. He has since had major brain surgery that has left him with very little use of his right arm and a weakness of his right leg. He has walking aids and a wheelchair."

"Just like any young boy he is discovering computers and games. He wants to be able to play like his friends but computer games are designed to be played with 2 hands making it virtually impossible for him to take part, as a result he sits and watches others play. The wonderful charity SpecialEffect have assessed Samuel's movements and have adapted a games console and controllers to allow him to play games just like his friends. He will be able to play with them and be competitive.”

It was following the support he received from SpecialEffect that Samuel and his family devised the 9km challenge – aka ‘Samuel’s Marathon.’ Backed by a roster of famous sporting faces, including Olympic Gold Medallist Sir Mo Farah, Samuel set off from home with his father on Sunday, cheered on by friends and family. And 3 hours and 3 minutes later, this the pictures below show the scene as they crossed the finish line having clocked-up what turned out to be almost 10km in the end!

We wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Samuel and his wonderful family for this remarkable achievement, as well as a heartfelt THANK YOU for the simply staggering amount of donations they have raised – over £4,600 at the time of writing!

Watch this space for more updates on Samuel later this week. Way to go Samuel – you’re an inspiration to us all!

two images: boy walking, and boy and father celebrating

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