Prime Minister praises disabled Ben Nevis-beating Corby schoolboy Caeden

Caeden Thomson climbed Ben Nevis with his family to fundraise for charity

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 10:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 10:20 am

A seven-year-old Corby boy with cerebral palsy who walked up Britain's tallest mountain and came down a fundraising hero has been recognised by the Prime Minister.

Caeden Thomson, a pupil at Beanfield Primary School, has received an award from Boris Johnson after smashing his charity fundraising target by climbing Ben Nevis despite previously being told he would never walk.

Caeden initially wanted to raise £8,000, but he has almost trebled that to £22,790. He presented a cheque for £14,000 to Scope on World Cerebral Palsy Day and will donate £8,000 to Kettering General Hospital to equip a physiotherapy room specifically for children. Money will also be sent to charity Jorgie’s Buddies, as they sent Caeden a bear to encourage him in his quest.

Caeden, who was born prematurely, has been treated by the hospital since the family moved to the area in 2018 and has made ‘incredible progress’.

He tackled the 1,345m peak 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. The entire walk took 13-and-a-half hours and was so arduous that his parents were worried they may have to get him airlifted off the mountain.

In recognition of his achievement, he received a phone call from the Prime Minister’s office telling him he would be given a Points of Light Award. Each weekday the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational person with the award and Caeden was named on September 29.

The Points of Light Award citation read: "Caeden Thomson, aged seven, from Corby, has cerebral palsy and recently completed a climb up Ben Nevis, despite his parents being told he would never walk, raising funds for disability charity ‘Scope’.

Caeden (middle) brother Ashton and sister Khya

"Caeden wanted to take on the challenge as a way of giving back to the charity and to his local NHS trust for the support and treatments he has received since he was born 12 weeks premature, including having undergone intense physiotherapy, speech and language therapy."

In a personal letter to Caeden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Your wonderful fundraising efforts for ‘Scope’ will help so many people. Also, by climbing Ben Nevis, you have inspired the nation and shown us the great British spirit of making the impossible possible. On behalf of the whole country, I would like to thank you and recognise you as the UK’s 1486th Point of Light. Congratulations.”

Caeden said: “Thank you very much. I can’t believe it. Every day it is hard, but don’t be sad, don’t be scared and try, try, try again.”

After appearing in the Northants Telegraph, his fundraising attracted so much media attention his story featured on the radio and TV including the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

Caeden

He also received a personalised message from adventurer Bear Grylls when he appeared on the first ever edition of Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4 and he spoke to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on a live video call to This Morning.

His mum, Lisa said: "It was a challenge and halfway up it got so much harder and we were worried that Caeden wouldn’t be able to finish it. It was so cold and the weather changed by the second as basically you were walking in the cloud.

"The next day we had a video call with Good Morning Britain and were live on This Morning with Eamonn and Ruth. Channel 4 wanted to mark Caeden’s achievement so he and I appeared on the first episode of Steph’s Packed Lunch. It was an amazing day. I didn’t tell Caeden it was live. He was so good at it, he takes it all in his stride. They broadcast a personal message to him from Bear Grylls and so he was speechless."

Lisa added: "Caeden was in disbelief that it was the Prime Minister’s office calling. Thanks to everyone who supported his challenge, we have had many people asking us what is next and we are planning something even bigger and more ambitious."

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