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‘He has the determination of an ox’ - Lowestoft’s Cohen Messenger, two, completes walk for new wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 08:23 15 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:43 17 October 2017

Cohen's Wish For Wheels was set up to raise funds for a much needed wheelchair. Photo: Mick Howes.

Cohen's Wish For Wheels was set up to raise funds for a much needed wheelchair. Photo: Mick Howes.

Archant

A two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy completed a half-mile walk this weekend in a bid to raise funds for a much needed wheelchair.

Two-year old Cohen Messenger walked from South Pier to Claremont Pier this weekend, to help raise money for his new wheelchair. Photo Mick Howes. Two-year old Cohen Messenger walked from South Pier to Claremont Pier this weekend, to help raise money for his new wheelchair. Photo Mick Howes.

Cohen Messenger, of Lowestoft, took just 25 minutes to walk from the town’s South Pier to Claremont Pier.

The youngster, who is on oxygen 24 hours a day, has cerebral palsy, uncontrolled epilepsy, dystonia and vocal cord palsy.

Cohen Messenger with his twin brother Ethan and parents Aimee and Kirstie Messenger. Photo: Mick Howes. Cohen Messenger with his twin brother Ethan and parents Aimee and Kirstie Messenger. Photo: Mick Howes.

However, nothing could stop Cohen reaching his goal.

“He has the determination of an ox”, explained his grandfather David Watson.

Cohen's Wish For Wheels was set up to raise funds for a much needed wheelchair. Photo: Mick Howes. Cohen's Wish For Wheels was set up to raise funds for a much needed wheelchair. Photo: Mick Howes.

The walk, which was completed with the aid of a walker last Saturday, was one of four sponsored events taking place to raise money for a R82 Kudo wheelchair which costs just under £4,000.

Cohen also suffers from central apnea, meaning he stops breathing throughout the day and night, and can require resuscitation at a moment’s notice.

Cohen Messenger and his mother Kirstie. Photo: Mick Howes. Cohen Messenger and his mother Kirstie. Photo: Mick Howes.

Cohen’s mother Aimee Messenger, said: “His current wheelchair does not let him lie down flat. We need to take him out to resuscitate him and god forbid what would happen if we couldn’t get him out in time.

“The new wheelchair allows him to lie down and allows us to make medical interventions when they are needed.”

Family, friends and supports set off with Cohen from Lowestoft's South Pier. Photo: Mick Howes. Family, friends and supports set off with Cohen from Lowestoft's South Pier. Photo: Mick Howes.

The two-year-old was joined by his parents, Aimee and Kirstie, and twin brother Ethan along with other family members, friends and supporters, with many wearing T-shirts bearing the slogan #cohenswishforwheels.

Cohen’s family say they have been “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support they have received from the community.

Aimee said: “People we don’t even know are here for Cohen – I can’t thank them enough.”

Mr Watson added: “I am so proud of the people of Lowestoft.

“The way they have all come together, it starts to get you at the back of the throat - it’s beautiful.”

Upon hearing Cohen’s story, many members of the public walking along the sea front stopped to donate money and offer words of encouragement.

Cohen was greeted by loud cheers and applause as he crossed the finish line.

Aimee said: “We are all so proud of him.

“I can’t believe he’s done it – he’s a superstar.”

You can donate to Cohen’s wheelchair fund by visiting www.gofundme.com/cohenswishforwheels

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