A GROUP of men and women are to run 78 miles in just 72 hours to raise money for a Verwood boy with a debilitating disorder.

Ben and Sam Walton from Verwood, together with ten of their closest friends from Ringwood, Fordingbridge, Bournemouth and Poole, will attempt to complete three marathons in three consecutive days in aid of their four-year-old son Chester.

Chester was born nine weeks premature on March 17, 2016, and weighed just 3lbs. His first 50 days were spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Poole Hospital where his parents learned he had quadriplegic cerebral palsy, affecting his whole body.

Quadriplegic cerebral palsy is a developmental disorder which, caused by damage to the white matter of the brain, means that Chester’s gross motor functions are severely impaired. As a result, he has spasticity - or extreme tightness of the muscles - which causes unusual movement patterns and prevents him from being able to stand or walk unaided.

A full-time wheelchair user, Chester requires round-the-clock care and assistance.

The fundraiser – Charge4Chester – will see the group each run 78 miles in just 72 hours, beginning at Poole Hospital and finishing at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

In doing so, they hope to raise more than £15,000 for the Charge4Chester campaign, set up by the Waltons.

Sam said: “Chester has already been accepted for treatment by the world leading pioneer of the procedure, who is based in the US.

“Having the procedure here in the UK is also a possibility but there is a lengthy assessment process and we’ll only be accepted if we can meet the strict NHS criteria.”

Ben and Sam estimate that they need to raise between £50,000-£100,000 in order to pay for the procedure itself, as well as two years of intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy that Chester will require post-surgery. The money raised will also allow for the purchase of equipment to facilitate Chester’s recovery and development.

The group will set off from Poole Hospital on Friday, September 25. To donate go to justgiving.com/fundraising/charge4chester.