Corby schoolboy, 7, who was told he might never walk, 'smashes' Ben Nevis
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A Corby boy living with cerebral palsy, whose parents were told he might never walk, has completed a 13-and-half-hour marathon mountain climb - and is now looking for a new challenge.
Caeden Thomson, seven, successfully ascended Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, to raise money to help others with his condition by providing much-needed funds for Kettering General Hospital, St Mary's Hospital, Kettering's Sudborough House, and charity Scope.
The Beanfield Primary School pupil tackled the 1,345m peak in the Scottish Highlands in his leg splints and using a walking stick, helped by his mum and dad Lisa and Alan, sister Khya, ten, eight-year-old brother Ashton and dog Tesha.
Joining them on the trek were aunts Ruta and Jenny, uncle Josh and grandma Lynda.
Mum Lisa, 34, said: "It was so, so hard. The last bit went on forever. Caeden said it was like the devil was putting down rocks and boulders there.
"He carried on going. He had to get to the top. Half way up we had to stop and take off one of his leg splints. It's hard when you can't bend your ankles."
The family kept going eating Mars Bars and kept going despite the temperature dropping.
"When we reached the top I just grabbed him in my arms. He was absolutely exhausted and his eyes were bloodshot. I burst into tears."
As soon as the family got to the summit at 5.30pm, they turned round and started straight back down the mountain so that Caeden did not lose too much body temperature in the misty conditions.
His parents had promised to carry him down to their base camp but conditions underfoot were so uneven that Caeden had to walk much of the descent.
Caeden, having set off at 9am, finally reached the bottom of the mountain at 10.30pm where the family celebrated with some soft drinks and then went straight to bed.
Lisa said: "We all slept well and to be fair Caeden has just bounced back. He's just awesome.
"He said to Alan [Caeden's father] 'Daddy, I feel like a new man. I just feel so good and I feel like I can do anything'.
"The night before was the first time he'd said that he wasn't sure if he could do it, but he smashed it."
Setting a target of £8,000 the family had only reached a quarter of that amount by the time they had reached their base camp.
During the weekend of the walk the Just Giving page gathered more support and the total now tops over £17,000 with donations from more than 700 supporters.
Born 12 weeks premature, Caeden wanted to raise money to buy ipads for a botox machine used in the intramuscular treatment of people with Cerebral Palsy.
Lisa said: "He was told he might not be able to walk because of the severity of the bleeds on the brain.
"Now we're looking for another physical challenge. Caeden says he doesn't want to climb a mountain but he can't wait to give the money away.
"His aim was to pay for the ipads for the botox treatment and now we could buy a second botox machine and the ipads for that too. We want to see what they need and then the rest will go to Scope.
"I think that Kettering General Hospital is an amazing hospital and the care that Caeden has had has been amazing. It's the personal side of things. They get to know him personally. We can't fault them.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has donated."
Caeden and his family would like suggestions for his next big fundraiser and would welcome suggestions of possible physical challenges.
Lisa added: "Perhaps he'll become an ambassador for people with cerebral palsy. He will hopefully inspire them."
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