Tobias Weller is no ordinary nine-year-old. The brave little one would not let his cerebral palsy stop him from walking every single day. In time, he decided to take on an inspiring challenge: Weller wanted to walk an entire marathon!
While Weller has suffered from cerebral palsy his entire life, he’s never let it hold him back. It all started a few years ago when the nine-year-old made it his goal to walk every single day. Of course, as you’ve likely already guessed, given his incredible attitude, Weller made his goal in no time. Soon, he had an even bigger and better goal: walk an entire marathon’s length (42,195 meters)! Weller also used the walk to raise money for his school and hospital, the Paces and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. While his goal started at £500, he managed to raise over £100,000 ($130,000)!
Along the way, Weller also found a hero, Captain Tom Moore. For those not in the know, Moore, a war veteran, raised millions for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps in his garden just before his 100th birthday. Soon enough, Weller had earned the nickname “Captain Tobias,” which people cheered as he finished the marathon. “Every bit of it has been totally awesome. I love it when my neighbors clap and cheer for me. I’m getting stronger and stronger every day. It’s such a good feeling,” he said.
While Weller loves that he accomplished his dream, he’s even happier that he raised money for others with cerebral palsy and similar diseases. “I’m chuffed to bits to raise loads of money. Other children who aren’t as lucky as me can benefit from the money that’s been raised,” he commented.
Through the entire 42,195 meter walk, which took over three months, Weller’s mother, Ruth Garbutt, uploaded adorable videos of her son on social media. Meanwhile, the fantastic mother also gave her son a medal as he finally crossed the finish line. “I’m so, so proud of Tobias. I’m bursting with pride for all he’s achieved and how hard he’s worked during the marathon,” she said. “When we started the marathon, he was doing 50 meters a day, and now he’s doing 750 meters a day. He couldn’t propel the walker at the start of the marathon, and now he can, he can push it on the flat, and he’s proved today he can push it uphill as well.”
Of course, the nine-year-old had support from plenty of others as well…
Plenty of others also cheered on Captain Tobias over the months. “It’s absolutely amazing. And it’s down to his real hard work and determination that he’s been able to achieve what he’s done today,” said the headmistress of Paces School, Ruth Liu. “We’ve got plans for a new purpose build with fantastic facilities, hydrotherapy pools, sensory room and facilities for more children, so we’re going to be able to help many more families, many more children, which will make such a difference to our community.”
In fact, the whole Children’s Hospital Charity followed Weller on his journey. “We’ve had so many messages of support from people in the physio team, people across the hospital who’ve got to know Tobias and his love of jelly! And he’s just inspired us all at the hospital,” said the hospital’s Marketing Officer, Caitlin Hallatt. “So massive projects which unfortunately due to everything going on the funding has slowed down so Tobias’ fundraising is so important and so amazing and we couldn’t be more grateful to him!” Hallatt also commented that the money would go towards a new emergency department, a new cancer ward, and a helipad on the roof.
Meanwhile, Weller wants to continue raising money. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!