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Grandfather’s nine-peak hike for disabled grandchild

A West Lothian grandfather is climbing nine of Scotland’s highest peaks to raise fund for his grandson Harris who has a rare genetic condition.

 

Two-year-old Harris Turnbull, from Whitburn, has 1P36 deletion syndrome which causes global development delay and severe epilepsy. He is unable to sit unaided, is non-verbal and tube-fed.

 

His family would like to take him for intensive physiotherapy at Footsteps Centre in Oxford this summer where he would have two hours of therapy every day for two weeks. With travel and accommodation, this will cost around £6,000, and the family would like to repeat the treatment as often as possible.

 

Roger Turnbull, 56, a commercial vehicle sales and service manager from Falkirk, Scotland is climbing six peaks in honour of each letter of Harris’s name (Ben Hope, Arthur, Ruadh, Resipol, Ime & Schiehallion) plus the UK’s highest mountains, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon to a combined height of 8,849 metres.

 

Roger said: ‘Of course any grandparent would do anything and everything possible for their grandchild, but in Harris’ case a little more loving care, consideration and support is required every day to help him fulfil and hopefully exceed his current abilities. What I’ve decided to do is indeed daunting and at times physically challenging, but actually it’s nothing in comparison to what Harris and his family goes through every day. With your kind support and backing via the Tree of Hope charity we can help make Harris’ life and other similar disabled children’s experience a little bit more pleasurable and that will make every step and every ache worthwhile towards our goal. Thank you.’

 

Mum Louise, 29, an event manager and retail worker, who shares two other children with her husband Cameron, 31, an IT analyst said: ‘We are very lucky to have such supportive friends and family and are so grateful to Roger for what he’s doing.’

 

‘Every child with 1P36 deletion syndrome has different issues so we don’t really know what the future holds for Harris. But clearly the more strength and mobility he can achieve, the better quality of life he will have, which is why we are so keen that he has this specialised physiotherapy.’

 

Roger is also currently organising a fundraising event for Harris at The Clutha in Glasgow to be held on May 27 2023.

 

Harris’s family is being supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope which helps families fundraise for children like Harris with healthcare needs where the NHS can’t support and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support while also providing donor reassurance.

 

Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘We wish Roger all the best with his impressive challenge!’

 

To sponsor Roger or to donate to Harris’s fund, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hikingforharris23 or https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/harris-turnbull/

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