Astonishing progress of Flintshire girl Betsi, 4, 'would have been impossible' without charity support

Reporter:

Beth Hughes

The mother of a young girl with a lifelong condition is singing the praises of a group who walked the walk to help her daughter.

Sarah Vanda Roberts, and husband Sion Roberts, who now live in Penyffordd, near Mold, were left “completely overwhelmed” by the support of North Wales Ramblers and the “phenomenal” amount of money they helped raise after announcing their charity of the year was the Roberts family’s Help Betsi Walk campaign.

Saran and Sion were left in shock when their daughter Betsi was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was only two months old, but were determined to give their daughter the best chance of an active life.

Sarah said: “Betsi couldn’t sit up, let alone stand up. We heard of a type of operation on the spine and we were told Betsi would be a good candidate for this new surgery.

“They cut the nerve which was connected to her brain which increased the elatisticity in her body.

“We knew we would need funding for the operation first, which cost £20,000 as its not available on the NHS.

“But the operation is only one part, and the main part is the physiotherapy which Betsi will have for two years, and which takes the total sum up to £50,000.”

Now, at the age of four, and only 10 months after her operation in January, Betsi has made astonishing progress and is now able to cover a “great distance” by herself.

Sarah said: “When we found out we had the support of North Wales Ramblers, we were over the moon.

“Without their backing, it would have been impossible to find the £50,000. It was such a relief when we knew we had their support.”

The life-changing operation was made possible with the fundraising efforts of the rambling club, led by Chris and Trish Jones, who announced their support for the family in October 2016. Since then, the club has been joined by neighbours, families and locals to trek across the country for Betsi, and have now raised £11,246.

These rambles include the Welsh Three Peaks, covering Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen Y Fan, the Yorkshire Three Peaks, which includes Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent, as well as maximising their access to the beautiful Welsh countryside.

Sarah said they felt very lucky to live somewhere where enjoyable walks are possible, and would like to add how grateful she is to North Wales Ramblers and all those who supported Betsi’s journey to walking again.

The final fundraiser will be a coffee morning held at the Penyffordd and Penymynydd Royal British Legion on Saturday, November 18 where all are welcome.

Email:

beth.hughes@nwn.co.uk

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