Happy birthday Charlie! Fundraising for multi-terrain wheelchair exceeds £20,000

A MARATHON fundraising effort has reached its target by collecting more than £20,000 to buy a special multi-terrain motorised wheelchair for Carrbook’s Charlie Maley.

And it was appropriate that a marathon effort from complete stranger Adam Travis provided the final push.After reading on social media about the fundraising, Adam, who owns Triple X gym in Stalybridge, made a spur of the moment decision to help.

Adam, who lives on Brushes Estate, put a message on the gym’s Facebook page asking for suggestions for a challenge and one was to undertake a marathon on five consecutive days which he began the day after first hearing about Charlie who suffers from cerebral palsy.

When Adam set off the appeal stood at £12,800 needing to raise £15,000 for the basic wheelchair and £17,500 for adaptations.

Adam, 38, a former British weightlifting and powerlifting champion, raised more than £7,000 during the week, making the blisters and pain worthwhile.

He said: “It was well worth the blisters and the pain to help Charlie get the wheelchair that will enable him to get out and about.

“It was tough and one night I was so knackered I fell asleep in an ice bath.”

Adam wanted to help after reading about the fundraising for Charlie, a pupil at Millbrook Primary.

He explained: “I saw they might be struggling to get the last bit of funding which is why I wanted to do something.

“I have a small following on social media, which includes former British weightlifting and powerlifting champions and I used that as a platform for my fundraising.“They were a couple of thousand pounds short of the target and I am over the moon to have raised so much.”

Adam set out from his home each day and headed for Manchester where he did a loop of the city before returning home.

He posted videos on social media every five miles to keep people updated about his progress.

His initial marathon took nine hours but, as he tired as the week progressed, that eventually became 12 hours.

To complete the challenge was remarkable bearing in mind Adam underwent a knee construction in September following a serious injury competing.

He was in a leg brace until December after which he was told he would need to use a walking stick for the foreseeable future.

The target was reached on Friday, July 3 which was Charlie’s ninth birthday making it the perfect present.

Dad Dan described it as “humbling” how the community came together for Charlie.

He said: “It has been phenomenal, unbelievable. We are in absolute shock.

“It is absolutely amazing to raise the money in between two and three months as we thought it would take two years.”

Dad launched the appeal early this year but mothballed it after Covid-19 struck believing it was inappropriate to continue.

But somebody spotted the appeal on social media and it took off.

Dan said: “What Adam did was unbelievable – and I had never met him.

“It is humbling there are so many kind people and I am in awe of all those who have donated and done challenges for Charlie.

“There are wonderful people out there and what a community we have in Carrbook. I am still in shock and it is unbelievable to raise so much in a short space of time.”

Dan added it was emotional to reach the target on Charlie’s ninth birthday.

He was one of triplets with George and Harry who died aged five weeks.

Dan, who added a donation had even been received from Australia, said the motorised wheelchair will transform Charlie’s life as well as the family as he will be able to join in with more activities.

He has already been to Lincolnshire for a test drive with the order already placed.

Dan said: “Charlie is really excited, though I don’t think it sank in until he had the test drive.

“It takes about 12 weeks to customise the wheelchair and we are hoping to have it for October when we plan a beach holiday in the UK.”

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