Furlongs and showjump poles: fitness fundraiser to be held for child with rare form of epilepsy

  • A personal trainer hoping to help the family of a child suffering from a rare form of epilepsy hopes the racing and showjumping community will get behind a fundraiser held at the home of some of the equine greats.

    Lisa Beards is raising funds for the family of three-year-old William Seymour, who suffers from neurological condition Proud syndrome, which causes him to have multiple seizures a day. The money raised will be used, with money raised by fundraising group Team Will set up by family friend John Adams, to allow William’s parents Chris and Susie to make vital alterations to their home such as a hoist and a downstairs wet room.

    The fundraiser will take place at the Hale family’s Shaw Farm, Shropshire – home to legendary showjumpers and racehorses including Nick Skelton’s 2004 Athens Olympic ride Arko III, and 2012 Grand National winner Neptune Collonges – where Lisa runs her personal training business and hosts ‘Fit Farm’ fitness camps.

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    Lisa told H&H she and her partner Lisa Hales totalled the distances won by the stud’s many Group One and Two winners as 52 miles. Today (3 October) a group of 10 will walk 52 miles between them while carrying showjump poles round the farm’s canter track. Each pole will be carried between two people (of the same family to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines) and Lisa has calculated that four laps of the track equates to one mile, so 208 laps will be walked in total.

    “We hope to raise as much as we can for Chris and Susie to help make the improvements, which could aid Will’s health and wellbeing. He is getting heavier now, and with the home having no disability provisions and specialist equipment, things are really tough on the family; a hoist can cost up to £7,000,” said Lisa.

    “Chris and Susie find warm water helps Will’s muscle spasms and provides a bit of respite for him, but because of health and safety reasons carers are no longer allowed to help lift him upstairs, so a wet room downstairs would really help.”

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    Lisa hopes the racing and showjumping community will get behind the fundraiser.

    “People in the area are so good at pulling together and even the smallest donation really does help,” said Lisa.

    “Susie and Chris messaged me to say they can’t thank everyone enough for their support and they’re so grateful to people.”

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