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Thursday, 05 March 2015

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Cumbrian councillor Tony sheds pounds for Noah

AVOIDING the temptations of food over the festive period is tough, but one man’s sacrifice has brought a welcome boost to a disabled baby.

Inspirational: Noah Wall who suffers from spina bifida and hydrocephalus with his mum Michelle and fundraiser Tony Markley

Noah Wall’s parents had begun planning his funeral before he was born, after he was diagnosed as having spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

Michelle and Robert had been told by their doctor that their unborn son would die, and yet they have just celebrated their first Christmas with Noah at their Abbeytown home.

Their little miracle is now nine-months-old and continuing to defy the odds – on New Year’s Eve he sat up on his own for a few seconds, for the first time.

While Noah’s achievements are inspiring, he will still need specialist equipment both in his home and as part of his daily life.

Councillor Tony Markley was determined to do something to help.

“I held a shepherds’ pie and pea fundraising evening at my house,” Tony, of Silloth, explained, “run by the North Allerdale branch of Workington Conservative Association.

“It was good crack, and the association agreed to donate £1,600 from the evening’s proceeds towards things to make Noah’s life a little easier.

“I also announced on the night that I was going on a sponsored diet.”

It lasted from October until Christmas Eve, and saw Tony lose a staggering 30 pounds.

He said: “I’ve tried losing weight before, but I needed something to go for. It wasn’t easy, but Michelle sent me encouraging texts.

“I think I’ve raised more than £1,000.”

Tony was not alone in his weight loss marathon, as Rotarian friends – Peter Richardson and John Cook – also took part, raising £210.

Michelle, 41, said: “I did feel very guilty when I was indulging in Christmas treats while Tony was dieting.

“It is wonderful that people are willing to do these things for Noah – it is very humbling.”


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