An Autistic Boy With Cerebral Palsy Walked A Marathon In 70 Days, Raising Over $100,000 For Children's Hospitals

Justgiving.com - Tobias is nine years old and is an intelligent, quirky, happy little boy with an amazing sense of humour and level of determination. He has Cerebral Palsy and Autism so he faces many challenges on a daily basis. 

Tobias Weller is nothing short of extraordinary. 

At 9-years-old, he's dealt with things most of us won't face in our lifetimes. Simple tasks, like standing on his own two feet, are impossible for him and he requires assistance for most activities we consider basic. But just because he's someone who needs help, that doesn't mean he can't give help.

Before the lockdown started, Tobias decided to complete a sponsored 1k walk. (Again, we're talking about a young man who can't really walk, choosing to walk 1K for charity - that alone would have been quite the accomplishment.) But once COVID-19 came to town, the race was canceled, and Tobias' plans were crushed. 

That's when Captain Tom came into the picture. 

The moment young Weller learned about Captain Tom (a 100-year-old British vet who has now raised $41 million dollars for COVID-19 relief by strolling in his walker), he decided if a century-year-old man could walk for miles, he could also make it happen.

"This is going to be a ginormous challenge for me! It's 42,195 meters, but I'm determined to do it!"

Forget the 1K, Tobias was going to walk a marathon - 26.2 miles - in order to raise money for his two favorite charities. 

First of all, how many 9-year-olds do you know that have favorite charities??? Most kids that age are only thinking about #1 because that's what kids do. Not Tobias; he's pulling charity names out of his back pocket. Secondly... a marathon??? Who starts off with a goal of walking 1K and decides to up the ante to 26.2 miles when taking a few steps is challenging enough?

Tobias Weller. 

He went up and down his street for months. First with 50 meters a day, but as he grew stronger, the distance expanded and eventually he built up to 750 meters a day. 

It took him 70 days to cross that finish line, but he did it. (credit: Sky News)

His mother, Ruth Garbutt, presented him with a medal as he crossed the finish line.

She said: "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… 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."

Honestly, just wow. The amount of pain and exhaustion he must have suffered during his walks is unimaginable. But he never stopped, he just kept pushing, and in the end he raised over $111,000 for his charities. 

"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."

During times like this, it's the Tobias Wellers of the world that remind us how much courage, kindness, perseverance, selflessness, and strength one person is capable of, regardless of their age or circumstances. 

We should all strive to be half the man this young boy is.