Caring women take big steps to help Reuben

EN ROUTE From left, Julie Gooch, Jo Davies, Yvette Sillence and Carole Hogg on the fundraising walk for Reuben Smith
EN ROUTE From left, Julie Gooch, Jo Davies, Yvette Sillence and Carole Hogg on the fundraising walk for Reuben Smith
Fareham Community Hospital in Salisbury Green

Picture: Paul Jacobs

LETTER OF THE DAY: We urgently need a bus service to Fareham hospital

Have your say

CARING women walked 25 miles and raised thousands of pounds for a boy with cerebral palsy.

Reuben Smith was born with the condition and is unable to walk or sit unaided.

His mum Haanagh Smith, 34, wants him to have botox therapy but needed to raise £3,000 first so he could have intensive physiotherapy to help it.

So she called upon her friends to do something special and get people to donate.

In the end, 50 people got involved in a ramble from Winchester to Whiteley on Saturday for the three-year-old, of Saffron Way, Whiteley.

Wearing ‘Ramble for Reuben’ T-shirts and baseball caps, the team followed part of The Pilgrims’ Trail – a 155-mile footpath that connects Winchester Cathedral to Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy – and ended up at The Solent Hotel & Spa.

Now Mrs Smith is celebrating because about £6,000 was raised – double the amount she had hoped for.

The cash will fund two years of private physiotherapy.

Mrs Smith, who is married to Mike, 40, said they were overwhelmed by the response.

‘It was quite emotional because people were doing this out of their own time.

‘People have been training for the walk since January and they were doing it for the benefit of our son. There were quite a lot of tears at the end.

‘There was a sense of relief and a sense of achievement that people had finished.’

Mrs Smith she was amazed so many people had got involved.

Her friends Lisa Macgregor and Liz Roberts were instrumental in getting everyone on board.

‘It was a fantastic turnout,’ Mrs Smith said.

‘It was also amazing that so many family and friends were at the finish line waiting for us to come in.’

Reuben’s twin brother Zachary also has cerebral palsy but Reuben has a more aggressive form.

Talking about what it’s like bringing up two sons with the same condition, Mrs Smith said: ‘It’s very difficult because you want the best for them and you wish things could be different.

‘But you need to make the best out of what they do have.

‘It’s only through the help of friends and family that makes life easier.’