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London honour for Silsden schoolboy
3:31pm Monday 23rd July 2012 in Aire Valley
An eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who underwent life-changing surgery to enable him to walk has been chosen to represent Yorkshire at a Paralympic flame ceremony in London.
The schoolboy has been in a wheelchair for most of his life but underwent a life-changing operation in the US in 2010 – enabling him to walk to school for the first time in May.
Evan said: “When I do this I’m going to feel like a Hollywood superstar! I can’t wait to be in London and am really looking forward to seeing the famous landmarks.”
His rehabilitation was given a boost after Evan was motivated by a London 2012 Inspire Mark project called Walk the History of the Games, a programme designed to encourage children to walk, scoot or cycle to school.
And when Evan undertook his first walk to school, he was cheered along by Paralympic wheelchair racer and world record holder Hannah Cockcroft.
She said: “I can't think of anyone who deserves this honour more than Evan. He was a huge inspiration to me with his bravery and determination and I think by collecting the Paralympic Flame he is showing the world that Yorkshire is a place full of amazing people just like himself.
“He is living proof that there really are no excuses in life. I really hope it motivates him as much as carrying the Olympic Torch motivated me.”
The Paralympic Flame will be presented to Evan in a specially adapted miner’s lantern at the London Flame lighting event in Trafalgar Square on Friday, August 24. The Paralympic Flame will then travel by train to York where it will be split into five flames which will feature at Paralympic- themed in events in York, Sheffield, Leeds, Beverley and Huddersfield during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Evan’s dad Andrew, 40, said: “We will be travelling down to London the day before, hopefully to catch some sights and will have an early start on the Friday, before escorting the flame back up to York. It is such a great honour.
“He’s done the walk to school, but this is out of this world.”