A FAMILY friend of little Aiden Farrell has cycled nearly 70 miles to raise cash to help him walk after hearing of the appeal online.
Stuart Handley, 27, cycled the distance from Wareham to Dorset, raising to help the three-year-old walk.
As reported, Aiden suffers from cerebral palsy and as such his leg muscles are tight.
The youngster had needed Botox injections to help him walk but surgeons recently gave the green light for an op that will get him walking.
Stuart, who as a child used to live next to Aiden’s mum Sara in Forton Road, Gosport, said he wanted to do the ride to support the family.
Stuart got in touch with Sara, now of Grange Crescent after reading about Aiden’s appeal in The News.
He said: ‘I’ve known Sara for pretty much all my life.
‘The ride went a lot easier than I thought it would.
‘The middle part coming through the New Forest was horrid, it was painful. I had to stop every three or four miles because my legs were aching.’
But Stuart added he got an adrenaline rush as he came into Southampton.
He said: ‘From there we constantly cycled right down back Gosport.
‘I got an adrenaline rush and I was buzzing to get back.’
And waiting for him at the George and Dragon in Gosport was Sara and family.
She said: ‘We met him at the end at the pub.
‘It’s brilliant, I really appreciate everybody’s help.
‘He did say it got to a point where he was feeling quite ill and stopped but got back on the bike.’
Stuart, of Locks Heath, rode with work colleague Richard Humpheries and raised £455 for the appeal.
Aiden’s family need to raise £27,000 by March next year for the operation, called selective dorsal rhizotomy.
Sara added Aiden is having a growth spurt and needs to do stretches to keep his leg muscles loose.
The family have raised around £9,000 so far.
As reported, a fundraiser at The Queen’s Head pub, in Brockhurst Road, Gosport, on September 14 raised £900.
Gosport & Fareham Rugby Club raised £1,200 that day.
On Sunday more than 300 bikers will leave a fundraiser being held at Ruby’s Diner, in South Street from 10am, riding around town to collect cash for Aiden’s appeal.