AN INSPIRATIONAL six-year-old boy who suffers with cerebral palsy and needs £43,000 for an operation to help him walk has won the Observer’s Outstanding Young Person of the Month Award.
Christian Fortunato from Sunningdale Drive, St Leoanrds cannot walk unaided and needs a frame to get about.
While there is no cure for his condition, he needs an operation which is not available on the NHS. It has to be carried out before he is nine.
Christian, who attends Sedlescombe Primary School, his family and friends have been fundraising since October in an attempt to secure the money needed for the operation.
They have raised £25,000.
The youngster’s award is for the month of March and is sponsored by the Hastings Observer Series and Sussex Coast College Hastings.
The award is presented to someone aged 18 and under who has excelled in sport, their academic studies, or has performed an important role on a voluntary basis in either their own home or the wider community. Or, perhaps like Christian, they have been an inspiration to others.
Christian’s dad, Max, said: “Christian doesn’t let his disability stop him. He always tries his best and harder, to the extent that some days his muscles can’t cope.
“On sports day he was supposed to take part in two events, but pushed himself to enter all of them like his friends. For more than a week afterwards he couldn’t get up.
“He was also pushed around the Hastings Half Marathon in a wheelchair last month and managed to walk the last bit.
“We’re so proud of him.”