06 June 2018
This Sunday 10th June, London Orthotic Consultancy technician Cat (who you may remember from her recent charity marathon in Sierra Leone) will be running the St Albans Half Marathon with Aaron, one of LOC’s patients. The hope is to run (jog, walk or crawl…) the entire 13.1 miles together, with Aaron in his wheelchair and Cat pushing behind.
Cat and Aaron are tackling the scenic and hilly country lanes of Hertfordshire to help raise money for students of St Giles School in Croydon. St Giles educates pupils between the ages of 4 to 19 years of age. Students who attend have physical disabilities, complex medical needs and complex speech and language difficulties. All the pupils have profound, severe or moderate learning difficulties.
The money donated from the challenge will go towards creating a much-needed sensory garden for the students of St Giles, which will cost a total of £50,000. This garden will enrich current and future pupils lives every day for years to come.
Nine-year-old Aaron is not only a patient of LOC, but he’s also the son of our incredibly talented leather work technician Philip Gipps. For the past nine months, Philip has been using his 30 years of knowledge and experience to train Cat in the world of orthotics.
"Aaron and I completed the St Albans Wheelchair Marathon in a time of 2 hours 49 mins. I was very anxious before the race started, though I think my nerves were more to do with hoping that Aaron would enjoy the overall experience, rather than the race itself.
However, as soon as the half marathon started I was relieved to find that Aaron was laughing and smiling for the entire route. He was very excited by the other runners and crowds. As we were the only wheelchair entrants amongst 2,800 runners, we gained a lot of attention with lots of people wanting to high-five Aaron and congratulate him for taking part.
The route was very beautiful, taking us along hidden country lanes with views over the rolling fields. It was more hilly than I had anticipated, but on the two biggest hills two wonderful ladies named Susan and Annabelle took Aaron from me and insisted on pushing his wheelchair up there. Another surprise happened at mile eight, where Annabelle’s husband Gavin was a marshal on the course. As they’d run ahead of us, Annabelle had asked him to help us when we passed by. He ran with Aaron for well over a mile and was actually faster than me even while pushing the wheelchair! The help from other runners was a real relief for me and it was a real joy to have the opportunity to run beside Aaron and see his face light up as we ran. A few more people helped along the way, including a cyclist who was on the route to give a morale boost to any flagging runners. While chatting with her, I discovered that she was the first woman to win the first St Albans Half Marathon 37 years ago.
Working with LOC and Elaine has been a great experience – they really take the time to look at your child and understand their individual challenges and needs. For parents who are in the same position that we were, I would say do your research – see what clinics are available near you and what the costs are, but my feeling is it’s worth every penny.
After 10 years of daily physiotherapy and swimming, not to mention SDR, hamstring and tendon lengthening, we have finally achieved independent walking – it was a mother’s day gift that would take some beating.
LOC’s video vector technology measures exactly where Austin’s weight is being distributed, how his hips are moving and how his legs are moving. It’s those insights that have made his new AFOs so effective. Even within a few days, LOC’s splints have had more impact on his independence of movement than anything else we have done.
Since his new orthoses, his change has been remarkable. He is more mobile and can walk independently. Jason is now walking indoors and outdoors and is unrestricted. He is now properly enjoying the summer sunshine for the first time in a few years with no complaints of pain.
It has been a breath of fresh air – LOC’s ability to accommodate Sophie’s circumstances and manufacture her orthotics so quickly has taken a huge amount of potential stress away. Alan talks to Sophie as well - she looks forward to seeing him. He has even been able to fulfil her request to have her SMOs decorated with unicorns! It makes her feel special and much happier about wearing them.
I can now go a mile without having to stop, so it is a lot better and I’m walking in a regular pattern now. The orthotic fits perfectly because LOC took proper mouldings and photographs; they were very thorough.
The race finished back in St Albans Verulamium Park. It was an incredibly emotional experience, crossing the line to meet Aaron’s mum, dad, brother and aunt. The crowds were delighted to see us back and gave a huge cheer as it was announced we were the winners (by default, being the only entrants) of the St Albans Wheelchair Half Marathon.
Both Aaron and I was exhausted after the race, but both were happy with our medals around our necks. Philip, my colleague and Aaron’s Dad, has since told me that Aaron has told all his school friends that he came first in the race and even asked his Dad when the next marathon would be. It really was a wonderful experience, I am so pleased Aaron enjoyed the day and we have been able to raise some much-needed donation money for the students of St Giles."
If you too would also like to donate, you can visit Aaron and Cat’s Virgin Money Giving Page here. Any kind donation will go towards creating a lasting impact for the wonderful students of St Giles School.
Find out more about the St Giles School here: http://www.st-gilesschool.co.uk
And the St Alban’s marathon here: https://www.stalbanshalfmarathon.com/
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Kingston Upon Thames location:
We also have the Gait Laboratory for orthotics patients and Onsite Manufacturing for speedy turnarounds and adjustments whilst you wait.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Cambridge location:
For more information about The Beechwood Complementary Medical Practice, please visit The Beechwood Practice.
We have the following facilities and amenities at our Bristol location:
For more information, visit Litfield House Medical Centre.
LOC’s clinic is based in the University of Salford’s Podiatry Department and provides treatments for orthotics, scoliosis, pectus deformities, positional plagiocephaly and club foot.
It is also the base for LOC’s northern OSKAR clinic which is run by Sam Walmsley, clinical director of LOC, in conjunction with Elaine Owen MBE MSc SRP MCSP.
Due to COVID-19, we have had to temporarily close the Salford clinic and are operating out of another clinic in Bolton.
508 Blackburn Rd,
For more information, please visit The Good Health Centre