10:56am Friday 20th June 2014
A CHEPSTOW man is taking on a 100km walking challenge to help a young girl undergo a life-changing operation - in the hope that she can then walk down the aisle at his wedding.
Andy Hosking, 43, is a family friend of Ruby Atkins, three, of Rogiet, whose family and friends are fundraising to reach a £40,000 target so that the youngster, who has cerebral palsy, can undergo the operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy to help her walk unaided.
The operation is not currently funded by the NHS.
Mr Hosking is set to take on the 100km Thames Path Challenge walk from Putney to Henley in 24 hours to raise funds for the toddler who will be his flower girl at his wedding next year.
The project manager at Mabey Bridge said: "This is a very personal one for me, I have been friends of the family since before Ruby was born. I just want to do anything I can to help Ruby.
"I'm getting married next year and Ruby will be one of the flower girls. Everyone hopes that she will be able to walk unaided, that would be the ultimate dream. It would be fantastic."
He added: "The walk is pretty flat, as long as I keep a decent pace, I should be able to complete it in 24 hours. I hope to sell logo space on a t-shirt for the trip to raise funds."
Mr Hosking has already raised £454.40 towards his target of £4,000 and will take part in the walk on September 13.
So far the total fundraising towards Ruby's operation has reached £27,051. Mr Hosking raised £1,215 towards this previously when he took part in the Abergavenny Three Peaks challenge in March.
To donate visit http://www.justgiving.com/100kmforRuby or https://www.justgiving.com/RubyAtkins.
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