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From Scotland to Romford - Hornchurch man trekking 450 miles to help raise £100k for two-year-old twins

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:30 15 February 2017

John as he started out on the 450-mile trek last week.

John as he started out on the 450-mile trek last week.

Archant

A charitable 27-year-old is putting his body through the pain barrier and walking 450 miles in a bid to raise £100,000 for twins’ life-changing procedures.

Adorable twins Lennon and Layla that John is helping to fundraise for.Adorable twins Lennon and Layla that John is helping to fundraise for.

John Falzon, of Hornchurch, set off from Stirling on Friday in the hope of raising much-needed money for twins with debilitating health problems.

The 27-year-old challenged himself with the Herculean challenge after hearing about the plight of mum Zara Coady who gave birth 12 weeks premature.

It led to doctors telling Zara and her husband Joel that children Lennon and Layla had been diagnosed with different forms of cerebral palsy.

Despite the current prognosis for Lennon being that he will be wheelchair-bound by his early teens, the £100,000 is to fund an operation known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) — which Joel and Zara hope will see him start walking unaided.

John at the Leaderfoot Viaduct, over the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders.John at the Leaderfoot Viaduct, over the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders.

Unfortunately Layla is not a good candidate for the operation which is not funded by the NHS but they are desperate to raise money for her to have speech and physical therapy.

Hornchurch resident John is currently around the 200-mile mark after trudging through snowy and baltic conditions in Scotland to reach the border to England on Sunday.

Speaking to the Recorder in Newcastle, John said: “I have blisters all over my feet now and my right knee is giving way, it’s getting really tough.

“But I am determined to help these kids and so I am battling through.”

John making a stop in Newcastle outside St James's Park.John making a stop in Newcastle outside St James's Park.

John heard about the twins’ story at a charity boxing event in Romford he was helping out at when dad Joel got into the ring to tell people about his children and thank people for donations.

“He caught my attention when he got in the ring and started speaking about the twins,” John said.

“I’m not an emotional person but when he started speaking about the health problems they had it made me cry.

“Since then I have been thinking about different ways of how to help as this is no flash in the pan fundraiser, this needs to be an ongoing thing.”

John is even giving up celebrations for his 28th birthday on Friday while aiming to complete the 450-mile trek.

Lennon and Layla’s family have been blown away by John’s massive charity effort.

Dad Joel said: “We are incredibly humbled and grateful for John’s efforts to raise money for our family.

“To put himself through such a difficult task for people he has never met is an amazing act of kindness.

“The money John raises will help to make a huge difference to improving Lennon and Layla’s lives.”

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