Tobias Weller (AKA, Captain Tobias), was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Autism by the age of three. As Tobias was unable to sit up and walk, his family were unsure what the future held and didn’t know if he would ever be able to take any steps or sit independently.
Tobias’s mum, Ruth, heard about Paces from one of the mums at playgroup and from his NHS physio. They went for a visit and she knew instantly that this was the school for Tobias; sending him to Paces gave him the best chance of ever being able to walk.
Ruth said: “Within one year, Tobias was taking his first aided steps. It was the most magical, overwhelming feeling that you could ever imagine and, without Paces, this may never have happened. I’m forever thankful to them for the amazing things my son has achieved.
“I feel so lucky and privileged to have stumbled upon such a unique school for Tobias and for him to have the opportunity to flourish and reach his potential. It really is such a wonderful place”.
As Tobias got physically stronger, he could eventually walk up to 50 metres each day with his walking frame which was, in itself, such an incredible achievement. At the start of lockdown, he saw Captain Sir Tom Moore walking up and down his garden and said “Mummy, I can do that, he’s just like me!”
Tobias decided that he wanted to raise £500 for Paces and Sheffield Children’s Hospital so set himself the challenge of walking the distance of a marathon.
Tobias absolutely loved to hear his neighbours clap and cheer for him as he walked up and down his street and soon he was able to walk 750 metres each day. In 70 days, the challenge was complete but he didn’t stop there.
He went on to run a marathon in his Race Runner and then took on an Ironman Challenge! Tobias’s fundraising page exceeded his expectations and, to date, he has raised a staggering £158,000 for his charities!
Tobias’s mum was by his side throughout all of his challenges. Ruth said “It’s so good to be able to give back to Paces for all they’ve done for us and it’s wonderful to be able to raise funds for their new school; the children work so hard and it’s what they deserve.”
Tobias has won many awards since completing his fundraising challenges, including the BBC’s Young Unsung Hero Sports Personality of the Year and, more recently, recognised by The Queen on the New Year Honours List and was awarded a British Empire Medal!
Ruth said, “I’m bursting with pride for what my son has accomplished and I’m delighted that his efforts have been recognised in so many ways, the ultimate being the youngest ever recipient awarded a medal by the Queen”.
Tobias, we have loved watching you grow in strength and in confidence and your determination is admirable. You are an inspiration to us all and everyone here
at Paces is so proud of what you have achieved.