Team of runners help to pay for a new wheelchair for Isabelle

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A team of Bexhill runners have raised almost £6,000 to pay for a wheelchair for a local girl.

Commando Fitness UK put together a team of 60 people to run the Hastings Half-Marathon to raise the cash for the wheelchair needed for eight-year-old Isabelle Everest from Austen Way in Hastings.

Isabelle suffers with diplegia cerebral palsy; this affects mostly her lower limbs, and a right sided weakness. She is unable to stand or walk and has fixed flexion of both her knees and shortened hamstrings, so she relies on a walking frame and wheelchairs for her mobility.

She recently had bilateral hamstring surgery and it is hoped this will help her stand up straighter.

Isabelle has a leisure wheelchair which she is able to self-propel, giving her some independence, but the one she currently has is too small and needs replacing.

She also has an NHS chair with postural support for when she has to spend longer periods in a wheelchair. Isabelle doesn’t like this chair as it’s almost impossible for her to self-propel and this considerably reduces her independence.

Chris Haines, Commando Fitness UK said: “As I said to the runners before the race, this is something that is really up there for me - in terms of things in my life I am proud of. To make such a huge difference to a wonderful little girl’s life is amazing.

“We raised almost £6,000, more than I could have ever imagined, and it is a real testament to the people I train and their friends and family who support them. I would also like to thank Hastings Direct and Southern IT Networks for their donations towards kitting out the team and adding to the running total’

Jay Wootten, from Hastings Direct said: “When Chris mentioned to me what Team Commando were looking to achieve, we were delighted to be able to provide a Helping Hand to the team. Well done to all of them, they should be proud of their achievements.”