A six-year-old boy from West London is set to run 22 miles over the space of six weeks to help fund his close friend’s new wheelchair.
Sophie Guerra Valdés, six, from West Drayton, lives with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic condition which causes muscle deterioration and difficulty moving.
SMA is a progressive condition which has left Sophie unable to crawl, stand, walk, or move independently from one place to another.
READ MORE: Mum, 27, stuck in mouldy council flat with brown liquid running down the walls ‘fears for newborn baby’s health’
Mum Tammy Valdés said Sophie’s diagnosis at 18 months old was difficult to deal with: “It was really, really hard to process the news.
(Image: Tammy Valdés)
“She got a small wheelchair from the NHS – it gave her a little freedom.
“But Sophie needs to go to school, she likes to go to the park and to outdoor activities so this wheelchair is not suitable for her.
“It’s not a chair that covers all her necessities.”
Sophie’s parents are hoping to raise £27,000 to provide a new powered wheelchair so she can continue to enjoy life like any other six-year-old.
Sophie’s schoolmate and close friend Vidyut Feynman Chitrakaran, six, is doing all he can to help his friend fund her new wheelchair.
Sophie and Vidyut both attend St. Martin’s C. E. Primary School in West Drayton and have been in the same class since day one.
(Image: Nishtha Chugh)
Vidyut will be running six kilometres for six consecutive weeks from Saturday, November 20, starting at 9am at Black Park Country Park in Wexham.
This means that in total Vidyut will be running an impressive 22.3 miles over the course of the fundraising effort.
Vidyut’s mum Nishtha Chugh said: “Vidyut and Sophie have known each other for longer than four years.
“As a family, the three of us have been running Park Run for months […] Vidyut is already a runner – he runs 5K every Saturday with us, he has great stamina.”
It was Vidyut’s idea to use his passion for running to help his friend, and Nishtha said she is extremely proud of him: “He’s a very driven kid with strong willpower.”
(Image: Tammy Valdés)
Tammy said she has been overwhelmed by the kindness of Sophie’s schoolmates: “We don’t have family here, so it feels so kind and we feel so grateful for this.
“When Nish approached me and told me Vidyut wanted to do this I thought, ‘Wow!’ You can see how kind he is.
“As a parent with a child with a disability you’re always concerned about your child playing with her friends, but I’ve seen how they all protect her. It makes you feel warm.
“Sophie’s friends from her school, they have been really nice with her and they love her so much.”
Here at MyLondon, we’re doing our very best to make sure you get the latest news, reviews and features from your area.
Now there’s a way you can keep up to date with the areas that matter to you with our free email newsletter.
The West London newsletter goes out twice day and sends you the latest stories straight to your inbox.
From Hillingdon to Harrow, Southall to South Kensington, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.
To sign up to the West London newsletter, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.
And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.
Tammy also added that St. Martin’s Primary School has been hugely supportive in meeting Sophie’s needs and said feels “blessed” that Sophie is a pupil there.
For more information about Sophie’s fundraiser and to donate, click here
If you have been affected by a similar story and want to have your voice heard, feel free to contact [email protected]