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Ben Walton to take on Ultra Challenge to raise money for his little girl Amelia-Rose

All Areas > Sport > Walking

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 26th April 2019, 16:00

Amelia-Rose has hereditary spastic paraplegia Amelia-Rose has hereditary spastic paraplegia

Regular readers on this website may well remember we wrote a story last September on Tanya Cross-Walton who was preparing to run the Cheltenham Half Marathon for the first time.

She was raising money for her little girl Amelia-Rose and the good news is that Tanya got round the 13.1-mile course in close to her target time of two hours, 30 minutes.

Now Tanya and her husband Ben are taking on some fresh challenges as they bid to raise enough money so that their four-year-old daughter can have a life-changing operation in the US.

Amelia-Rose, a pupil at Woodmancote Primary School, has hereditary spastic paraplegia – it was originally thought that she had cerebral palsy mimic – and it means she is unable to walk unaided.

The family need to raise £100,000 to pay for the operation and the two years of rehab that follow, and so far have raised around a fifth of the required amount.

That’s why 36-year-old Ben is preparing to take on an Ultra Challenge – not once, but four times.

“I’ll be walking 100 kilometres four times,” he said. “The first is the London to Brighton Walk on 25th-26th May and I’m really nervous!”

That’s followed by the Bath to Cheltenham Walk on 29th-30th June, the Chiltern Challenge (27th-28th July) and the Thames Path Challenge (7th-8th September).

Ben, a finance manager who works in Imperial Square in Cheltenham, is hoping to raise £40,000 from the four walks and he said: “If we can get to £60,000 then we know we can afford the operation, we can then raise money for the rehab after that.”

The couple have been told that Amelia-Rose can have the operation at St Louis Hospital in Missouri in January 2020 although they have also been told that it could happen this year depending on cancellations.

That has added greater urgency to the fund-raising campaign and Ben, for one, is certainly happy to go through the pain barrier for Amelia-Rose.

“I think I’m one of the most unfit people I know,” laughed the ex-Bournside School pupil who lives in Bishop’s Cleeve. “I’m not a runner but I’ve been doing lots of walking in preparation.

“I know trying to raise £40,000 is a huge amount but why not aim high? I’m blessed to be able to walk and Amelia-Rose is not, so I’m using my ability to walk to help Amelia-Rose to walk.

“She’s such a happy girl. She loves her school and was up at 6am on the day the new term started, she was buzzing for it!”

And Tanya is doing her bit to raise funds, too, because she is taking part in the Blenheim 7K Fun Run on Sunday.

“She’s running with Amelia-Rose who she will be pushing in a wheelchair,” said Ben. “But Amelia-Rose is determined to do the last 10 metres in her walker.”

Tanya is also taking part in the Super Saturday Be Military Fit (BMF) session at Pittville Park on Saturday 18th May which is being run by BMF Cheltenham, an organisation that holds outdoor fitness classes and is run by ex-military people.

To support Amelia-Rose’s appeal, visit https://just4children.org/children-helped2018/amelia-rose-wants-to-walk/ or https://www.facebook.com/ameliawantstowalk/

To support Ben Walton in his Ultra Challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/waltonswalks

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