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Corby Glen pupil to complete 'marathon' for charity after battling meningitis as a baby

A Corby Glen schoolboy is preparing to walk a marathon in May for a charity that helped his family after he contracted meningitis as a baby.

Five-year-old William Butler - who dressed as his hero Captain Sir Tom Moore for World Book Day last month - will be walking and cycling 26 miles in May to support Meningitis Now.

His mum, Rebecca, said: “William had meningitis as a baby, and thanks to our wonderful GP for acting so quickly he came through it and is now loving life.

William Butler (45658928)
William Butler (45658928)

“He loves the great outdoors and enjoys his adventures so thought that we would combine the two and give something back.”

Rebecca took William to the GP after he developed a cough at four months old.

She added: “William is our only child and so when he started coughing we just assumed he was getting a cold. But when he couldn’t lay down we started to get concerned that something didn’t seem right and took him to the doctor where the GP told us to take him straight to hospital.”

William Butler (45660077)
William Butler (45660077)

It was only as the family arrived at Peterborough City Hospital that William started developing a rash over his body and became lifeless.

He spent the next two weeks in hospital with his family by his side.

Rebecca added: “He literally fought every second. We just spent the days hoping he would pull through. It was a really difficult time but our family rallied around to support us.”

William, who lives in Swinstead and learned to ride a bike without stabilisers during the first lockdown, aims to raise at least £500.

William Butler (45660009)
William Butler (45660009)

His mum and dad, Craig, will be accompanying him on walks and cycle rides, and they will be walking part of the way to school each morning while recording the distance he covers on their activity tracker watches.

Rebecca says their son is looking forward to the challenge.

She added:“Fortunately there have been no long-term effects from his illness; we were lucky because it was diagnosed so quickly.

“I’d advise people to be aware of the symptoms.

“William didn’t have the rash at first - he had a cough that didn’t sound normal and he wouldn’t lie down. It didn’t feel right. Parents should trust their instincts.”

To make a donation, visit: https://tinyurl.com/532vej37

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