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Disabled girl inspired to raise money for charity

Tony with mum Paula, left, and Lily with her parents
Tony with mum Paula, left, and Lily with her parents Image credit: mirror.co.uk

A five-year-old boy has shown his disability doesn’t stop him from not only living a normal life but also raising thousands of cash achieving a remarkable feat.

Tony Hudgell has prosthetic legs which recently covered 10km to fund money for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital which saved his life.

The youngster raised a staggering £1m, his achievement has now inspired others to do the same.

Seven-year-old Lily Blackburn has cerebral palsy, inspired by Tony’s determination she is planning a similar fundraiser by celebrating her eighth birthday walking 15km with her frame aiming to raise £24,700 to buy toys for terminally ill children at Haven House Hospiice in Woodford Green, Essex.

The two heroes met last week to share their ambitious stories.

As well as being fundraisers the kids had a few other things in common, they had both participated in running races at school and use similar walking frames.

Lily, from Waltham Abbey, told Mirror Online: “Tony is amazing! I listened to every word of his story. I have followed his ­journey on Instagram and now I’m really excited for my own walk.”

Tony’s adoptive mum Paula told Lily: “Tony wants to tell you to keep trying hard and keep being you.”

Lily, who also has autism, proved doctors wrong when they told he parents she would never be able to walk.

After undergoing a course of Botox injections and intensive physio she can now put one step in front of the other without any support.

Her mum Kelly, 36, said: “Some kids think of Lily as ­different and won’t accept her. This will give her that boost she needs to be proud of who she is.”

Dad Adam, 36, added: “To have a child of that age switched on to helping others when she’s dealt with so much – and to spend her eighth birthday doing that – is amazing.

“As a toddler she couldn’t even sit up – now look at her. The work she has put in over the years is incredible. She still needs walking sticks (sic) when she is tired but continues to work every day and is a true inspiration.

“She has been training every day during lockdown. Lily wants to push her capabilities and attempt 15k which, for someone with her conditions, is remarkable.”

A spokesman for Haven House Hospital said: “Lily’s determination, courage and kind nature is so inspiring. We’ll cheer her every step of the way.”

Over in the Third World a youngster is setting out to climb a mountain in a wheelchair whilst another plans to complete a bike ride.

Tony’s full-time carer Paula said: “He has inspired other children to take on challenges for charity which is lovely.

“Tony takes it all in his stride. He loves meeting new people and hearing their stories.”

Tony and Lily are now planning a joint charity walk to raise more money for good causes.

You can make donation towards Lily Blackburn’s charity walk on here JustGiving page.