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Inspirational Jack Rickard will tackle Barnack Fun Run to raise funds for vital operation

Jack Rickard (6) and twin sister Ava (6) at home at Uffington EMN-151230-154728009
Jack Rickard (6) and twin sister Ava (6) at home at Uffington EMN-151230-154728009

Like many confident six-year-olds, when Jack Rickard decides he wants to do something, it can be almost impossible to talk him out of it.

The inspirational youngster from Barnack, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has set himself a huge challenge and is determined to complete it.

On Saturday, Jack will take part in the fun run at Barnack Primary School - and attempt to walk the entire 2.5km course.

It would be tiring enough for most children of his age, but for Jack it is the most physically-demanding challenge he has ever undertaken.

Cerebral palsy affects the muscles in Jack’s legs and arms, making it difficult for him to stand up, walk and balance.

His mum Shona said: “It really is a huge challenge for Jack - because of his cerebral palsy, he’s never walked anywhere near as far as this before.

“He can’t run the course, but is determined to walk it, even if it takes all day for him to finish.”

Shona, husband Steve and Jack’s twin sister Ava will also take part and will be supporting him all the way.

They will take Jack’s wheelchair in case he needs a rest, but will not push him in it and will let Jack set his own pace.

As previously reported in the Mercury, Jack’s parents are currently trying to raise £60,000 so he can undergo life-changing surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

The procedure, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), could remove the majority of spasticity in his legs, giving Jack the best chance of living an active life.

SDR is not currently available on the NHS and his parents have organised a series of events to help reach their fundraising target.

Members of the public are being encouraged to help give the total a boost by sponsoring Jack as he tackles the fun run.

Stamford XT - an association of former Round Table members - has offered to match fund any sponsorship from this weekend’s event.

Shona added: “We are really grateful to Stamford XT for their generous offer and hope it will encourage others to dig deep and sponsor Jack.”

Currently, just over half the £60,000 goal has been raised, and it is hoped the full target can be hit in the coming months, allowing Jack to have his life-changing operation in September.

After the operation, Jack would spend a month on a ward at Great Ormond Street, followed by two years of intensive physiotherapy.

If you want to sponsor Jack, you can donate via www.justgiving.com/ jackrickardsjourney


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