Disabled Harpenden nine-year-old “absolutely chuffed” with £4,000 for walking aid in time for Christmas

Will Horton, with his dad David, and friends Ben Light and Ace Johnson at the 5k race.

Will Horton, with his dad David, and friends Ben Light and Ace Johnson at the 5k race. - Credit: Archant

Local people have made a disabled child’s dreams come true by raising a whopping £4,000 for a modified push bike in record time.

As Will Horton has the most severe form of cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegi, he cannot control the muscles in his trunk or all four limbs and even after surgery he struggles to travel 100m without a standing frame or wheelchair.

Quest 88’s RaceRunner, a modified push bike, would enable Will to do simple things many children take for granted for the first time, like running and playing without help.

When Will discovered the RaceRunner this summer, he spent an hour walking around, racing his sister, and covering more ground than was ever possible. David described it as a “truly liberating” piece of equipment that had the family in “floods of tears” and Will enchanted.

Although the Hortons wanted to surprise Will with his own for Christmas, its £2,800 pricetag was too expensive.

So David appealed for help in this newspaper and within just one week St Albans people had stepped up, surpassed expectations, and donated £4,000 to Will’s cause.

David said they were amazed: “We were hoping for a little bit of help but we didn’t expect anything like the response we got.”

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The surplus money will go towards Will’s ongoing physiotherapy fund, making a “real difference” in his life.

“We are so proud of him, all the family are proud. He loves the idea of running races, playing in the school playground, going out for walks, all of those things.

“He wants to take the RaceRunner onto the common and take the dog for a walk - he is absolutely chuffed.”

With the help of a rented RaceRunner, Will and his two friends from Crabtree Junior School recently completed Superhero Series’ Winter Wonderwheels 5K race around Windsor’s Dorney Lake.

“Will didn’t know we were raising funds and we told him at the event after the race - he was absolutely chuffed.”

The specially fitted bike should be ready as a late Christmas present in January.

The Hortons describe their always-smiling son as a “chatterbox with a wonderful sense of humour”.

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