Bravest step... Zach, 9, walks for first time to boost charity
A BOY with cerebral palsy who was told he’d never walk unaided has finished a marathon feat of laps around his garden.
Zach Eagling took part in the 2.6 Challenge, a fundraising drive by UK charities asking supporters to take part in events related to 2.6 or 26 – the number of miles in the cancelled London marathon.
Brave Zach, who chose to walk 2.6km (1.6miles) by himself before his ninth birthday, has raised £10,900 so far. He had previously never walked without a frame apart from in his house, where he holds on to furniture to stay upright.
As he finished his challenge on his birthday after seven gruelling weeks, he was cheered by his community and got a huge hug from his gran Judith, 68 – their first since lockdown began.
Proud mum Claire Keer, 38, said her son had been inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore’s charity walk for his 100th birthday. Zach told her: “I want to do that too.”
Claire added: “When Zach said he wanted to do this walk without his frame or wheelchair I had to let him at least try. Doctors have said from the start that he would likely never walk on his own but Zach’s so determined I thought, ‘Why not?’
“To see the determination on his face, that he could do this, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
“Captain Tom inspired Zach to walk when everyone told him he couldn’t – it’s like he’s a new person, so confident and happy.
“My mum was crying her eyes out when she saw Zach walking, and gave him the biggest hug I’ve ever seen as he finished.”
Zach who lives in Liversedge, West Yorkshire, did his walk in stints of four 25m laps. He managed eight on Tuesday, the final day.
Money raised is going to the Epilepsy Society because Zach has a severe form of the condition as well as cerebral palsy, which affects his mobility and cognitive development.
But his feat was marred by cruel social media users who posted flashing images on his fundraising page in an attempt to trigger a fit. Police are investigating.