Sat, 06 Jun 2020
An Aldworth girl with cerebral palsy has completed 26 laps of her driveway in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Ottilie Bankes walked 6.5km over a month, raising £1,315, in her own 2.6 Challenge – initiated after the cancellation of the fundraising London Marathon. She completed the laps on April 30, assisted by a walking device.
The 12-year-old is a wheelchair user and is non-verbal, using an eye-guided communications system in day-to-day interactions.
On each day of her challenge she completed four laps.
The effort has been praised by PALS West Berkshire, a physical disabilities charity, of which Ottilie is a member.
Ottilie said: "During lockdown I decided to take part in my own 2.6 challenge, which raises money for charities who have lost a lot of funding due to the London Marathon being delayed.
"Inspired by watching Captain Tom Moore on TV whilst eating my breakfast, me and my daddy decided I was going to walk 26 laps around my driveway in Aldworth.
"One lap is 0.25km, so 6.5km in total.
"This is quite a way for me as I have cerebral palsy and can only walk using a walking device designed by a very clever man called David Hart.
"I usually use a wheelchair to get around and an eye-gaze computer called a Liberator to communicate as I am also non-verbal.
"I loved this challenge because I normally am very busy and love activities like skiing and swimming.
"I did around four laps a day, sometimes more, always listening to my favourite film music from Toy Story 4 to drive me on.
"I did my walk for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
"This charity is very important to me because I often go for treatment there and wanted to support them for all the hard work that they are doing throughout the lockdown for children like me."
PALS manager Helen Randall said: "Ottilie has been a member of PALS for five years and is an amazing young lady.
"So were we surprised when we heard about her challenge?
"Probably not, but we are so proud of what she has achieved and the incredible amount of money she has raised for the NHS.
"Well done, Ottilie."