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By Ian Dipple Friday 01 February 2013 Updated: 01/02 14:41
A DISABLED man, who as a baby was given just a week to survive, is now aiming to swim a mile in aid of charity.
Ross Tuohy plans to complete 64 lengths of the Abbey Stadium pool in a bid to raise £2,000 for Whizz Kidz, which provides powered wheelchairs to young people.
The Alvechurch resident was born six months premature and suffered a bleed on the right side of his brain which left him with cerebral palsy.
As a teenager he was given a powered wheelchair by Whizz-Kidz and is using the fund-raiser to return the favour.
The 23-year-old said: “This is my way of saying thank you now I’m strong enough to do it.”
Ross is being supported by Lakeside based Viking Boxing and Fitness Club where he has been training for about 18 months, joining in as much as possible with classes, doing shadow boxing and floor exercises amongst other things. He also swims every Sunday at the Abbey Stadium.
“Coming to Viking Boxing gym has changed my whole outlook on life and made me physically stronger as well,” Ross, who is studying creative writing at Wolverhampton University, added.
“When I first started I could do about six laps and now I can do up to 50. I’ll probably be nervous on the day but right now I’m just focused on getting the laps in and doing the best I can.”
Redditch MP Karen Lumley visited Ross at the gym last Friday (January 25) and has pledged to be there to cheer him on when the takes part in the challenge in May.
“Whizz-Kidz is one of my favourite charities, they do a fantastic job and have provided 19 wheelchairs to people in Redditch and once Ross completes this it will be another one.”
Laurence O’Connor, who runs Viking Boxing and Fitness Club, said: “Coming here has revitalised him as a person, the transformation is amazing.”
Ross added: “Thanks to Ryan (Taylor his coach), Laurence and the lads at the gym, they’ve made me realise I can go as far as I want to go and helped bring my potential out of me.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/bigswim2013 to donate.
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