Alfie, three, from near Bristol – a client at the Neurokinex spinal cord injury rehabilitation centre in Bristol – successfully completed the Winter Wonderwheels self-powered charity challenge on Sunday 2nd December. Alfie, who is paralysed from the waist down after a rare childhood tumour caused spinal cord compression, completed the 1km race around Eton Dorney Lake in his wheelchair with only a little bit help from Mummy, Daddy and little brother Freddie.
The Npower Winter Wonderwheels event organisers welcomed people of all ages with all disabilities. Aimed as a festive extravaganza, those taking part could use any special equipment and there were no cut-off times or limitations. Participants had the chance to cycle, walk, run, push, or be pushed around Dorney’s spectacular lake. There were 1km, 5km and 10km challenges on offer, so that there was something for everyone.
When Alfie fell ill at just one month old nobody was able to predict what kind of recovery would be possible for him. As he grew, Alfie started to move his right leg and after several more months his left leg also started to show some slight recovery. After almost two years, and supported with ankle splints, he began to stand using a frame. Alfie now attends Neurokinex once a week to receive its pioneering activity-based rehabilitation. Being so young, he loves to play and the specialist team at Neurokinex has devised a series of rehabilitation activities that feel more like a game than therapy. Alfie plays games, paints with his feet and walks with the support of one of the trainers, stepping over toys on a treadmill and trying to splat them with his feet. This is all to build his muscles, below his point of injury, to build up his core strength and the strength in his legs. Thanks to the help of the Neurokinex team and the treatment he is receiving, Alfie was able to take part in the Winterwonder Wheels event and has raised over £540 for Neurokinex so far.
Commenting on his achievements his mother, Esther said: “It was fantastic for Alfie to be part of such an inspiring, fun and fully accessible event. He was in his element, dressing up as a superhero and racing as fast as he could, just like any 3-year-old loves to do. For Alfie to be able to fundraise to help the brilliant Neurokinex centre, who have helped him so much, was an added bonus.”
To donate to Alfie’s efforts please visit: https://www.paypal.com/uk/fundraiser/charity/2391620