Mountain challenge for dad to scale

LITTLE Benjamin Banthorpe needs £3,000 worth of treatment a year to help him fulfill his potential – and so his dad has decided to take up the challenge.

LITTLE Benjamin Banthorpe needs £3,000 worth of treatment a year to help him fulfill his potential – and so his dad has decided to take up the challenge.

Benjamin Banthorpe, aged five, who lives in Wetheringsett and suffers from cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or even crawl.

But his devoted parents Richard and Judy have come across a novel treatment - provided by the ADVANCE charity in East Grinstead - which helps, but costs almost £3,000 a year.

His dad Richard, 38, has decided to climb Britain's three highest peaks in just 24 hours to raise his son the money.

Mr Banthorpe, assistant manager of Connells Building Supplies in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, is hoping to raise funds will do the walk together with Nigel Sillett, 38, of Penzance Road, Ipswich, and Noel Lambert, 36, of Martlesham.

Benjamin was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy just before his first birthday.

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Mr Banthorpe said: "Soon after he was born, my partner was aware that something was wrong. But it was not until he was 18 months old that he was diagnosed. He can't walk or crawl and his speech is affected. But he is as bright as anything."

Benjamin has been having five week-long sessions every year for two and a half years with ADVANCE. Light, pumping hand movements restore internal energy, blood supply and electrical transmission to his atrophied muscle tissues. This makes him stronger, more mobile and more in control of his speech. His parents also administer the treatment themselves – for three hours each day.

Mr Banthorpe said: "It is a lot of hard work, but Benjamin's improvement is unbelievable. He can eat, sleep, play with his toys, swim in a rubber ring, turn pages of a book and talk for ages. Within five years, he should be able to walk"

The challenge was the idea of Mr Sillett, manager of Connells Building Supplies.

He said: "I was thinking of the London Marathon, but I don't like running. So I came up with the three peaks idea.

We are planning to climb Ben Nevis late in the afternoon of 28 June, returning before nightfall. Then we will drive through the night to climb Scafell Pike in the early light, before climbing Snowdon later that afternoon."

The three climbers are hoping to raise about £3,000 – enough to pay for one year's worth of treatment.

Anglia Rewinds, of Farthing Road, and the Genesis charity in Cobham Road, have donated £250 each. Anglia Softdrive, of Sproughton Road, has lent them a car and AXA insurance is stumping up the vehicle's cover.

If you would like to make a contribution, call Connells on 01483 714 222 or Richard Banthorpe on 07810 131813.


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