Blind man with cerebral palsy and autism takes on his "ultimate challenge"

4 minute read
Blind man with cerebral palsy and autism takes on his "ultimate challenge"

Published at 4:50pm 13th May 2020.

Since the lockdown and Scope shut its 207 shops, the retail staff, friends and families have been busy finding ways to fundraise for the charity.

One example is The 2.6 Challenge which has raised over £10 million so far - and can be any task at all that involves the numbers 2 and 6.

21-year-old Gabe Judge from Illogan has set himself the goal of walking .26 miles down his road.

it will be the ultimate challenge, as Gabe has cerebral palsy, autism and is blind.

He will be walking the .26 miles with the support of both his walker and his community as they are set to cheer him on, from a safe distance this weekend.

Gabe-route

Gabe’s mother Debbie Judge is the shop manager for Scope in Camborne and Gabe is the mascot for all shops in the area. Customers, volunteers and staff have all fallen in love with Gabe and his mischievous sense of humour.

"Back when Gabe was first getting his diagnoses, the doctors were very negative, telling us what he wouldn't be able to do. But him taking on this challenge is a testament to the determination and independence he shows every day," she said.

“Gabe is non-verbal and communicates through sign. He's excited to take on the challenge to support an organisation that feels really represents him.

"This really is Gabe's endeavour, and we're excited to support him to do it."

Gabe was born eight weeks prematurely, with four limb Cerebral Palsy, and is registered blind. He also has autism and takes medication to manage epilepsy. He uses his walker to get around when he's at college, but typically only for short distances. Walking over a quarter of a mile is a real challenge for him.

Simon Judge, Gabe’s father said: "This challenge is a tough one for Gabe, but he's always been determined. We give him as much independence as we can, and his walker really helps him with that. 

"Since he got his walker from the college he's been practicing a lot, doing short walks to build up to the challenge. We stay on hand to correct his course if he isn't going straight, but he's doing it all under his own steam.

“We’ve been telling our friends and neighbours about the .26 walk and we’re all looking forward to cheering Gabe on, this weekend.”

Gabe Judge in practice 2

Andrew Boswell, “Divisional Manager at disability equality charity Scope said: “Like many charities Scope is facing a catastrophic drop in income. We’ve shut our 207 shops, our street fundraising is paused, and events have been cancelled.

“Scope usually has a monthly income just over £3m a month and has seen that fall 60 per cent in March, but the charity’s services are needed now more than ever.

“We are so proud of our dedicated retail teams who have been doing amazing fundraising events at home during this difficult time to help us continue our vital work supporting disabled people.

“The .26 walk Gabe Judge has set himself really stands out. We all know how hard this will be for Gabe and send him our thanks and wishes for his incredible support this coming weekend.”

Just head to Gabe’s Just Giving page to donate and leave him a message of encouragement.

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