Double amputee seeks £14k for fitness dreams

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 March 2018

Toby French has been a double below-the-knee amputee from birth.

Toby French has been a double below-the-knee amputee from birth.

Archant

A double below-the-knee amputee is hoping to raise £14,000 to achieve his fitness goals.

Toby French, from Highbridge, currently uses prosthetic legs to walk and run, but needs a pair of running blades, priced £7,000 each, to allow him to compete in half marathons and endurance competitions.

The 28-year-old has received £600 in donations towards his target, and has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support.

He said: “It is going great, I wasn’t expecting such a strong response.

“I shared my fundraising page on Facebook and Instagram, and I’ve had really positive and motivating messages from people.

“I recently completed a practice Tough Mudder in 48 minutes, so I hope to get this time down.”

Training consists of pumping weights, car tyres, and other gym equipment, and sessions take place either at a nearby park or in the garage of Toby’s home, in South Avenue.

He said: “I have recently had a boost of energy and motivation.

“My wife booked me sessions with personal trainer Sonny Tomham in January, and he has been fantastic for me.

“He’ll be out with me in all weathers working me hard all the time, which has been great.”

Doctors told Toby they could find ‘no medical reason’ as to why he was born an amputee, as his twin sister was born with ‘normal, working legs’.

His prosthetics are not suitable for long-distance running and can cause him ‘significant pain’ when too much strain is put on them.

Toby said: “I put on a lot of weight, and the heavier I got, the more painful my stumps were.

“The running blades I want are more suited to physical activity and obstacle courses as they absorb impact when running.

“My aim is to get my fitness to a point where I can take part in more runs to help fund raise for charities.

“If I can motivate other people into believing they can do more and be more active, even with disabilities, then I will be happy.”

Toby has registered for Bristol’s Tough Mudder 5k endurance event, which takes place in May, and will also compete at an inflatable 5k obstacle course in Devon this June.

To donate, log on to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tobynolegs

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