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Cerebral Palsy sufferer, Patrick Barden, from Shorne, completes London Marathon

A football coach who has cerebral palsy has crossed the finish line of the London Marathon after five days walking.

Patrick Barden, 24, took on the challenge, which started on Sunday, April 23, for a charity which helped him when he was a youngster.

Patrick, pictured here, tackled the 26-mile route using his walking frame, walking between five and six miles each day.

Patrick should finish the 26 mile course this afternoon.
Patrick should finish the 26 mile course this afternoon.

He wanted to raise money for a charity which, he says, “taught him everything”.

He went to conductive education sessions at the former, Cerebral Palsy Care (CPC) charity which used to be based in Cliffe Woods.

The charity closed down several years ago but its founder Rod Black set up a new charity to help children and adults with cerebral palsy and other motor difficulties, Step and Learn, based in Frindsbury.

Patrick Barden, who has cerebral palsy, training for the London Marathon
Patrick Barden, who has cerebral palsy, training for the London Marathon

Mr Barden, who lives with his parents, Lisa and Colin in Shorne, decided he should give something back to the cause.

He said: “The CPC charity taught me to do everything. It gave me every opportunity to succeed and achieve things I never thought possible.

“I attended sessions at the CPC eentre until I went to infants school in Horsted and still went to summer camps at CPC while at school.

Mr Barden went to the Math School in Rochester and graduated from the University of Greenwich with a sports and exercise science degree.

Patrick on Tower Bridge.
Patrick on Tower Bridge.

He is now coaching Year 7 football at St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, in Gravesend, and says he wants to help children who are in a similar position as he was when he was a child.

Mr Barden had been training with personal trainer, Tim Billings since November in preparation for the feat.

Before setting off he said: “I became a trustee when the new centre (Step and Learn) opened.

“I am doing the London marathon so Step and Learn can continue to help children progress physically and become as independent as possible.

“Raising funds will help the charity do this as it will enable them to keep the sessions free of charge meaning that attendance is kept to a maximum.

His older sister, Chloe Barden, has been accompanying her brother on some of the route.

She said: “He is such an inspiration.

“To see how he trained so hard and how difficult he has found parts of his journey this week, to tackle some of the effects of cerebral palsy he has never encountered before, and yet, despite this, he has soldiered through.

“He pushed through to do six miles on Thursday, his longest walk yet.

“He had 5.2 miles left on Friday and I have every faith he will smash it, through all the pain he’ll be in, he’ll smash it.”

To sponsor Mr Barden, visit his fundraising page 

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