A YOUNG boy whose family are campaigning to help him walk unaided has started a motorcycle rally to deliver Easter eggs to sick children.
Nine-year-old Alfie Smith, who suffers from cerebral palsy, waved the chequered flag to launch this year’s Durham Easter Egg Run.
Around 1,000 bikers are roaring across the region after setting off from Tesco at Dragonville in Durham at 10am this morning.
The run is the fourth organised by Hartlepool biker Tony Hudspith, who took it on after cuts to Durham Police meant they could no longer stage the event.
Mr Hudspith, 43, from Hartlepool, said: “It is not just for bikers. It is something the whole community can get behind and there is always a great atmosphere.”
The bikers’ first stop is Darlington Memorial Hospital before they turn around and head to the University Hospital of North Durham.
Thousands of eggs will be donated to children who have to spend Easter in hospital.
The event is expected to raise around £2,000 for charity, which will be divided between the Northumbria Blood Bikes, Miles for Men and the Help Alfie Walk campaign.
Alfie’s mother, Annie Stalley, 29, from Hartlepool, said: “Alfie loves motorbikes, so it is amazing for him, and it is lovely of them to ask him to do this.
“There is an outstanding atmosphere. Everyone has got a smile on their face and they are all interacting. They are like a big team.”
Alfie, who goes to Throston Primary School in Hartlepool, needs intense daily physiotherapy for his condition and struggles to do everyday things most take for granted such as walking, getting dressed and even brushing his teeth.
His family has already raised £50,000 for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, which permanently reduces muscle spasticity in the body and could allow him to become more independent and avoid the need for his wheelchair.
Miss Stalley said: “Alfie has been for the life-changing surgery and he has come out, as expected, extremely weak. He is back to his happy smiley self but is very tired “He has to have intense physio daily and he is going to need another two different surgeries.
“The campaign is going really and we have done fantastically well in the last five months. We have raised the money for the operation and two years after care.
“But we are continuing to fundraise because we do not know how much we need to provide continual care for him in the future.” To help Alfie look for the Help Alfie Walk page on Facebook.