Completing a marathon never seemed likely for Tobias Weller, who can’t stand or walk without help.
The 9-year-old has cerebral palsy and gets around with a walker. He also has autism. But his desire to make a difference for people like him is much stronger than most could imagine.
Tobias attends Paces School in England, which caters to children and adults with neurological conditions. Ruth Garbutt, Tobias’ mom, says the school challenges students to push themselves, and without it, she wrote, “Tobias would not have made nearly as much progress as he has done and continues to do so.”
As such, Tobias wanted to support his school. Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, who raised millions for the National Health Service walking around his garden, the little boy decided to walk 1 kilometer, or 0.6 mile, around a local park. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the chance to because of the COVID-19 lockdown. So he came up with a better idea — a marathon!
In a video announcing his plan, Tobias explained he wanted to raise money for his two favorite charities, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School, through a sponsored walk. He aimed to complete a total of 26.2 miles by walking up and down his street every day.
As Tobias put it, the challenge was “ginormous,” but he knew he could do it. And he did! It took him 70 days, during which his stamina increased. Starting out, he could only walk about 164 feet a day, and when he finished on May 31, he was walking half a mile! Even more amazing was the outpouring of support. People started calling him Captain Tobias — a nod to Moore.
“I love it when my neighbors clap and cheer for me. I’m getting stronger and stronger every day,” Tobias told Sky News. “It’s such a good feeling.”
Not only did Tobias cross the finish line smiling, but he’s raised $119,000 so far through the crowdfunding site JustGiving, more than tripling his original goal of about $37,000! But he isn’t finished quite yet. He’s aiming to reach 31 miles next.
“I’m so, so proud of Tobias. I’m bursting with pride for all he’s achieved and how hard he’s worked during the marathon,” Ruth said.
You go, Captain Tobias! You are living proof that anything can be achieved with enough determination. Keep walking, and keep spreading your giving spirit!
Share to spread support for this kid’s wonderful cause, and feel free to donate here!
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