The assistant headteacher of St Martin’s Academy joined a group of intrepid friends to cycle 150 miles and climb Wales’ highest mountain in one day to support a child with developmental needs.
Mr Roberts and six others got on their bikes to raise funds for two-year-old Eddie Braun, who suffered a brain injury before he was born leading to various debilitating neurological conditions. After months of training, Mr Roberts and his charitable chums set off from Chester to Snowdon, climbed the 1,085m peak, and then cycled home again, on Saturday, September 23.
Mr Roberts said: “It was an amazing experience and one that I never want to repeat! The support we have had from all of our friends and family was incredible and getting back to find that we had broken through our target of £5000 was the best way to finish the such an unbelievable day!”
In fact, the total raised now stands at more than £6,300.
Mr Roberts added: “I think we all thought the climb up Snowdon would be the easy bit. We were very wrong about that! Snowdon was wet, cold, windy and very steep and we needed to get up and down in four hours max, so that we had enough light to make it safely along the coastal cycle track and be home before the pubs shut!
“I was happy to be home and I don’t want to see a saddle for a while, but I couldn’t be happier that Eddie and his family are going to be able to access the more of the treatments and support that they need.”
Eddie has a rare genetic condition which caused a bleed on the brain while he was in the womb. The damage was discovered at 35 weeks’ gestation and it has caused several neurological conditions, including Infantile Spasms (IS), cortical vision impairment (Eddie is registered as severely sight impaired) right-side hemiplegia and global developmental delay. IS is a rare and severe epilepsy syndrome, which is catastrophic neurologically and has a devastating impact on development.
Eddie is also non-verbal and his parents, Alex and mum Ilmarie, are undertaking a training programme to develop a method of communication as an alternative or support for any verbal skills he may develop. His development milestones, such as learning to sit unaided, will be a lot slower coming and require significant continuous input.
He has recently learned to roll over and he is able to use his hand to feed himself, which he loves to do. However, the constant physical, practical and emotional input makes Eddie’s day-to-day care exhausting.
Eddie’s father, Alex Braun, took part in the challenge alongside Nick Horder, Chris Fox, Mr Roberts, Dan Hyde, Jody Payne, and Chris Capes.
Speaking afterwards, Alex said: “I find it hard to express my gratitude for what people are doing for us and the family. It means so much to have amazing and continuous support from all our friends.”
The money will be used to pay for regular physiotherapy, occupational therapy, equine-assisted therapy – horse riding to help Eddie’s balance and core, CFT – cranial work, and training for his parents to to maximise his neurological potential.
You can still donate here: JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/eddiesnowdonchallenge