YOUNGSTER George Ibbotson went the extra mile – and then did 25 more – as he took on a marathon challenge to help a seriously ill boy from his village.

 

George, nine, raised more than £1,000 for the family of Louie George Wood, a four-year-old from Mapplewell with cerebral palsy, as they attempt to fund his life-altering surgery.

 

And he’s been recognised with a Proud of Barnsley nomination for his fundraising efforts, which saw him vow to complete a marathon in a week.

 

George took on the challenge after a chat with mum Helen and dad Andrew about how he could help other youngsters during the lockdown.

 

The family talked about charities George could raise the cash for, and he decided on Louie’s Pace – a campaign set up to help Louie’s family raise £120,000 needed for him to travel to America for surgery which will allow him to walk and home adaptations.

 

Helen knows Louie’s mum Jodie Morgan from school, and they had seen the local community rally to help the family.

 

Andrew, 38, of Sparkfields, said: “When he first set out to do it, we didn’t think just how much he was doing and we never thought he’d raise as much as he did.

“He started out looking to take a week and he did it in six days.

 

“It’s only looking back you realise how big an achievement it was for him.

 

“We’re very proud of him, and glad he was able to raise such a big amount for such a good cause.

 

“A big thing for him was being able to see how it directly impacts a family who are up against it a lot.

 

“He really enjoyed doing it, I think he’ll definitely do something similar next year.”

 

George, who plays football for Kexborough Chiefs, prepared for the challenge by running a few miles a day with his dad.

 

“I haven’t seen a nine-year-old run a marathon in six days,” said Andrew.

 

“I don’t want to big him up too much, but on this occasion he deserves every bit of recognition he gets.

 

“Even to get nominated is excellent. We would be over the moon if he won.”

 

Louie George was born prematurely at 28 weeks and has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, periventricular leukomalacia (a type of brain injury in which cysts form on the brain) and global developmental delay.

 

His family, buoyed by the community around them, have since committed to raising money for his treatment and vital home adaptations.