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Kayden defies the odds by the mile


By Matt Leslie


After taking part in the Mey Mile run/walk, Kayden Malcolm proudly displays his medal. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
After taking part in the Mey Mile run/walk, Kayden Malcolm proudly displays his medal. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios

A Thurso boy who doctors said was wheelchair-bound unaided has defied the medics by taking part in the Mey Mile.

Kayden Malcolm (7) was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy when he was a baby, with walking and even being able to straighten his legs proving to be difficult.

Unfortunately, the NHS did not have the resources to help Kayden make a full recovery and prepared his parents, Alan and Sarah, for the worst that one day their son would be confined to a wheelchair.

However, mum and dad were determined to do all they could for Kayden and raised £80,000 in a fundraising drive to pay for a specialist selective dorsal rhizotomy operation in St Louis, Missouri, in the United States.

The procedure was successful and now Kayden can straighten his legs and walk for a period of time unaided. He still has to attend a course of intensive physiotherapy but has made considerable progress.

The Mey Mile was part of Sunday's annual Castle of Mey 10k programme.

Mum Sarah said: "He's completely knackered from his efforts at Mey.

"Kayden didn't complete the full course – that would have been too much for him. He did the start and the finish – we gave him a lift during the middle part.

"The idea for him to do this came from family friend [and endurance runner] Lorna Stanger who helped in the fundraising for Kayden to go to America. She did a sponsored run from Thurso to Inverness.

"She asked if Kayden would accompany her in the Mey Mile and he was delighted to."

In September 2015, Kayden Malcolm got his first medal when endurance athlete Lorna Stanger presented him with the one she received at the Aviemore Half Marathon. On Sunday, Kayden received his first medal in his own right when he took part in the Mey Mile. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios
In September 2015, Kayden Malcolm got his first medal when endurance athlete Lorna Stanger presented him with the one she received at the Aviemore Half Marathon. On Sunday, Kayden received his first medal in his own right when he took part in the Mey Mile. Picture: Robert MacDonald / Northern Studios

Kayden, who is a Gaelic medium pupil at Mount Pleasant Primary School in Thurso, has come on well since his operation.

Sarah added: "Before the surgery, he used a walker to get around. He can now straighten his legs and take a few steps unassisted.

"In fact one of the first things he said after the operation was that he could feel his toes – a little thing that most of us take for granted, but was a special moment.

"His schoolmates have been great with him. They're always willing to help if he needs it.

"Kayden's on a course of intensive physiotherapy, which we knew before the operation would be required once we were able to get him back home.

"We go down to Perth in two-week blocks at the Walk This Way UK centre there and the staff are brilliant."

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