Marathon efforts to help little Ryan

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A DAD has chosen to run the London Marathon to help a Corby youngster receive physiotherapy to help him walk.

Colin Cooper, 42, will be taking on the challenge for the first time in April.

He is splitting the funds he raises between charity Brainwaves and a fund for Ryan Walden, two, who has cerebral palsy to allow him to attend the charity’s specialist centre in Somerset.

Mr Cooper, of Brington Drive, Barton Seagrave, said: “It is my first and only marathon. I’m quite a big bloke and not the typical athlete you see in a marathon. It had to be something close to my heart.

“I am a devoted dad to two great girls and I knew if I was gong to do it, it would have to have a local connection.”

Mr Cooper was inspired to run for Ryan through his wife Sharon, a ward sister at Kettering General Hospital with nurse Carly Walden, who is Ryan’s mum.

He met the youngster, who has muscle weakness which makes movement difficult, for the first time at Christmas.

Mr Cooper added: “His determination to me is an inspiration.”

Mrs Walden, 30, said the centre, which asks for donations, encourages families to come twice a year but they are only able to go once a year since her husband Aaron lost his job.

She said: “I was quite taken aback and it made me emotional and I was very grateful he would do this. Words can’t describe really how it’s going to benefit Ryan and us as a family – we’re so grateful that Colin is going to put himself through that to allow Ryan to reach his full potential.”

To sponsor Mr Cooper visit www.justgiving.com/Colin-Cooper2.