Man plans wheelchair feat in bid to help girl walk again
9:30am Saturday 14th April 2012 in By Katie Bond, @SwindonAdver007
A KIND-HEARTED man who is confined to a wheelchair by Motor Neurone Disease is digging deep to help a little girl raise £50,000 for a life-saving operation.
Paul Wilkinson, of Moredon, has featured in the Adver on numerous occasions due to the impressive hill climbs he completes for charity.
But it was last month, in which the 65-year-old pledged to give £1,000 to anyone for a charity of their choice if they could think of a steep hill he could not overcome in his manual wheelchair, that he caught the eye of the Ellis family in Abbey Meads.
Parents Natasha and Chris are hoping to raise £50,000 for an operation for their six-year-old daughter Alycia, who has cerebral palsy.
Alycia cannot walk or stand independently and cannot receive the selective dorsal rhizotomy operation that could help her on the NHS, so needs to travel to America for the surgery.
Her family contacted Paul and he will now climb Victoria Road backwards on Tuesday with a £1,000 cheque to help Alycia’s dreams become a reality.
He said: “This lovely family and their little girl have touched my heart and I want to carry out my promise to them. When they emailed me I only knew the basics but I immediately wanted to help.
“I thought £1,000 could either take me on a nice holiday or I could help this family have a better life, and of course there was no contest – my heart always wins.
“I suggested that we start the hill climb at the bottom of Regent Street – I have never been up a steep hill backwards before. I have done small slopes but not a steep hill, but I believe I will do it in about two hours.
“I will carry my cheque with me and I hope there will be people on the way who will see me and donate. I just want to say to this family, that this is my ninth year of living with Motor Neurone Disease and it is nice to know that doctors are not always right and we can prove them wrong.”
Alycia’s family will meet Paul at the finishing line at 3pm outside the Adver offices and members of the public are welcome to join them.
To help Alycia’s op bid, contact her mum Natasha on 07825 828265.