Determined fund-raiser takes on charity walk despite condition which leaves him struggling to move - The Leamington Observer

Determined fund-raiser takes on charity walk despite condition which leaves him struggling to move

Laura Kearns 27th Jan, 2021 Updated: 2nd Feb, 2021   0

A DETERMINED fund-raiser is taking on a charity walk despite a health condition which leaves him struggling to move.

Pat Smith from Southam has NF2, a rare disorder which leaves him with non-cancerous tumours of the nerves.

He was diagnosed after his parents noticed he was constantly walking on the tips of his toes. Doctors found tumours across his body including his ears and spine, which are causing him to lose his hearing and affecting his mobility.

Since then he has undergone many operations and treatments to try and reduce to size of the tumours or treat the symptoms caused by them.

Unfortunately the 20-year-old’s condition has worsened, but he says his quality of life has improved.

Pat said: “I have had NF2 for as long as I can remember and this has caused me to face more barriers in life than I can count. Ever since I was diagnosed my physical capabilities have slowly decreased. I stopped being able to do all the activities I loved.

“School was incredibly difficult for me as I could see everyone in my class being able to enjoy doing the things I could no longer do and it made me feel left behind, alone and isolated. It impacted my mental health and I began feeling lonely and depressed because I was never able to join in with everyone else having fun.”

To raise money for charity Nerve Tumours UK, and awareness of the condition, Pat is aiming to walk 14 miles in one week.

And despite his challenge getting off to a snowy start, he completed the first miles of his walk.

The fund-raiser has also smashed his fund-raising target of £250 – so far raising nearly £3,000.

He said: “I wanted to create this fundraiser event to raise awareness but also to help young people who are struggling with the mental aspect of living with this condition. I struggle with my mobility but I want to show people going through school feeling the same way I did that it may be harder for you but it is possible to still get out and be active.

“I felt alone in my struggle but there were people there supporting me through it. I was never truly alone, it was just hard to see it at the time.

“I have been mainly walking in local parks like Jephson Gardens and Foundry Wood but also around Southam, where I have lived all my life.

“I had not prepared for the snow but I have pushed through all types of obstacles in my life and I pushed through this.”

Visit to donate.

People affected by Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Type 2 or Schwannomatosis or those who know someone with the condition can call 02084391234 or visit to contact charity Nerve Tumours UK.

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