A nine-year-old boy fighting cancer has raised thousands after completing a ‘learn to walk again’ charity challenge for the RNLI.
Selfless Elliott Furse has spent the past 11 months undergoing gruelling treatment for a brain tumour that robbed him of his mobility.
Despite his ongoing battle, he was determined to continue supporting others so with the help of an aide has now completed a 1.6 mile walk for the Penlee Lifeboat Station.
After an initial target of just £250, he has already raised more than £5,000.
Suffering from ataxia in his limbs, Elliott’s family knew it would be a slow and steady journey, but say he summoned all his energy to complete it in around six hours over two days.
Dad Christian, 37, of Gulval, Cornwall, said: “We are incredibly proud of him, he finds some situations very overwhelming and each day can bring a new challenge, but I think we’re slowly turning a corner and after walking just shy of two miles in two days for the first time in a long while, he knows he’s done something incredible.
“We only have his supporters to thank for that, without the love and support he has received I don’t think he’d be where he is now.
“It’s a walk that I know most locals will take for granted, it’s fairly flat and easy going, but this was huge for Elliott.
“He still isn’t perfect in his walker, and his legs and feet often don’t go in the direction he wants them to, but we knew he’d do it.”
Before being diagnosed with Mudulloblastoma, Elliott also set up the ‘Elliott Christmas Appeal’ which donates bags of toys to young patients after coming up with the idea when he was making his list for Santa.
His family asked him to write a Christmas list but he said he wanted to help others instead of receiving the latest toys.
It has generated a “huge volume of toys” for the kids that were at the Royal Cornwall Hospital over the festive period and he continued with the appeal despite his own cancer battle last Christmas.
Christian said Elliott was diagnosed after he was rushed to hospital himself when he collapsed at home.
He underwent surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital to remove as much of the tumour as possible before starting further treatment.
His walking achievement attracted a large crowd and was recognised with a heartfelt post from the Penlee Lifeboat crew.
A spokesperson wrote: “After his operation he lay on his bed a limp version of the boy he once was, but somewhere inside he was already fighting somehow knowing he would walk and talk again.
“Eleven months later with support from all around him Elliott has carried out a marathon challenge from the Old Lifeboat House Bistro in Penzance to the Penlee Lifeboat Station in Newlyn.
“Just 1.6 miles which took him four to five hours over two days, an exhausting challenge for the nine year old.
“Elliott was met by crew members of the Penlee Lifeboat who clapped him over the line before he handed over cash collected en-route to coxswain Patch Harvey who presented him with his very own Penlee Lifeboat jacket.
“The RNLI’s volunteer crews are all heroes of course, but it seems they have an extra hero at Penlee today.”
Elliott is now working on his next fundraiser, which will be a bake sale, and after summer will start his Christmas appeal again.
To donate visit https://bit.ly/3fYeXRj