Going the distance for Ben - The Redditch Standard

Going the distance for Ben

Redditch Editorial 22nd Dec, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

A SELFLESS Redditch man will give up his Christmas Day to undertake a 17-mile walk in a bid to raise vital funds for a little boy’s ‘life changing’ operation.

Roy Dalby will be lugging a cart and presents from the borough to two-year-old Ben Harris-Bell in North Littleton, Evesham, dressed as Father Christmas.

The youngster is based with his mum Emma but suffers from cerebral palsy, which affects his legs and hips meaning he cannot walk or crawl yet.

An operation called a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy is available in America but up to £40,000 will need to be raised to allow the youngster to undergo treatment.

Without the operation Ben’s life will be filled with physio and surgery to help lengthen his leg muscles and pain like cramp as his short muscles will make his legs grow out of shape.

Even after the operation he will need about two years of intense physio at home with specialist equipment.

Roy, who will be joined by his sister Tracey Dalby wearing an elf costume, told the Standard despite breaking two ribs just over a week ago the fund-raiser would be more than worth it.

“The fact I can walk 17 miles and that poor little boy can’t walk 17 inches really decided it for me,” the 53-year-old said.

“The fact it is Christmas Day, I would go up to pub, have a couple of pints and doss on the sofa in the afternoon, so I thought right I am going to do it dressed as Santa and do it on Christmas Day.”

“We will have a laugh on the way and it is all for a good cause, because he is a cute little lad, Ben. He is always smiling and it just makes you realise when you are healthy how easy life is.”

Ben was diagnosed with the condition on Good Friday this year despite mum Emma Bell having her suspicions when he was just nine-months-old.

The 35-year-old said: ” We know there are kids worse off than Ben, so we look at the positive sides as there is no other way of looking at it. Don’t get me wrong, the bad days are bad, but we try and look at the positives all the time.”

“If we don’t Ben upright his life could be shortened because he will have respiratory problems. He can’t sit unaided and I don’t want him stuck in a high chair all his life.”

“I want him to be bale to sit on the sofa happily or sit on the floor and play and we can’t do that without the operation.

More than £2,700 has been raised so far. Visit www.justgiving.com/bensfirststeps to donate.


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