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Wellington student prepares to enter record books
TEENAGER Samuel Smith is certainly going the extra mile in aid of his disabled brother.
The youngster is preparing to spend his Easter holidays cycling from London to Paris to raise cash to support brother Sebastian, 8, who has a rare genetic condition.
It is believed Samuel, who turned 13 on Saturday (March 2), will become the youngest person ever to complete the gruelling 235-mile ride.
He said: “Some friends of my parents recently completed the same bike ride and they are old and unfit I thought if they could do it, I certainly can!”
The Wellington School student will ride to the French capital over four days with his dad Mike, while mum Claire will be driving ahead.
He will be raising money for the Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RTS) Support Group after Sebastian was diagnosed with the condition.
RTS results in severe learning disabilities as well as physical and behavioural problems.
Samuel added: “I have been training with my dad, cycling up Burrow Hill and I play loads of sport at school, so I think I will be able to achieve it. It will be a great family adventure.
“Sebastian is great. He's really random, and my friends love him, although he can be quite embarrassing sometimes especially when he runs onto the rugby pitch to hug me when I am about to score a try.”
Dad Mike explained: “We knew Sebastian was different when he was born and finally had a diagnosis for disability when he was about four after many years of genetic testing and trips to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
“He is the most delightful child - always very sunny and happy and laughing. He has lots of very unusual gifts.
“He can recite the alphabet backwards at speed, spell any word forwards or backwards and pick out amazing tunes on the piano.”
Samuel has already raised over £1,000 ahead of the challenge.
See www.justgiving.com/samuelparisride to donate.