Brave Blanch boy Ben, age 10, clocks up 65,000 steps for Cystic Fibrosis

BEN WEAFER refuses to let Cystic Fibrosis get in his way – as he undertakes a 49km run in aid of a local charity close to his heart.

The 10-year-old from Ongar, Blanchardstown took up running while in lockdown and says it helps to keep his chest clear and his lung function high.

Now he’s clocking up the kilometres – which translates to 65,000 steps – to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland Dublin West branch.

Ben, who is about to start fifth class, told Dublin Gazette: “I used to play gaelic too, and before the restrictions, I took up Taekwondo with my auntie Amy who is an instructor.

“I’ll be going back when the restrictions are lifted.”

At first lockdown left Ben, who is also a footballer and accomplished swimmer, missing out on regular exercise but he soon got the running bug.

He said: “Sometimes I didn’t want to get out of bed, but now it’s great. I’ve over 35,000 steps done already – I only started last week – and over €1,000 collected.

“I’m more than half way there. I did 20km last week and 7km yesterday (Tuesday 18 August) so I’m going to keep going.”

Proud mum Joanne is right behind her brave boy who refuses to let a condition like CF get the better of him.

She revealed: “At first because of his underlying condition he had to virtually cocoon which meant he couldn’t walk or swim.

“But then Hansfield Educate Together secondary school offered him the use of the track so he was able to stay fit and safe.

“His aunty Amy then encouraged him to take on the CF steps challenge and he decided to set himself a target of €200.

“We’re hoping to get it done before his return to school but he may decide to keep it going.”

Bohs supporter Ben is delighted he took up running over the past few months, as is his physio team in Temple Street Hospital and his family.

Joanne said: “He feels amazing after his runs. He just pops his head phones on and away he goes. We are just so proud of him, dad Mark, his little brother Adam and me, along with the extended family.

“He is owning his illness and running with it.”

To support Ben’s endeavours see gofundme.com/f/bens-run-for-cystic-fibrosis?

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