Teenager with cerebral palsy sets his sights high

Cerebral palsy can make even day-to-day activities difficult for those living with the condition…

Which is why James Fontana’s charity challenges – which would be gruelling for most able-bodied teenagers – are especially extraordinary.

Last year the 19-year-old reached the summit of his first Munro – the name given to the 282 Scottish mountains which are more than 3,000ft high.

James later described making it to the top of Carn An Tuirc, a stony crag in the Cairngorms, as the hardest thing he had ever done.

“At the start I thought ‘this is fine’ but when you get to the top and it is all rocky that was really difficult,” he told the East Lothian Courier.

But that hasn’t stopped him from preparing to scale Ben Lawers, near Pitlochry, in September. He hopes that his endeavour will raise a four-figure sum for the UK Solidarity Fund, which is run by the British Red Cross. At present the organisation is trying to raise money for those affected by recent terrorist atrocities.

This year’s climb is likely to be even tougher than the previous year’s. Ben Lawers climbs higher than Carn An Tuirc and is in fact one of the ten tallest Munros.

As it turns out James, whose condition causes problems with his balance and general fatigue, is no stranger to charity initiatives.

Aside from his successful ascent of a Munro, he has also completed a 1,500 swimathon for Marie Curie and a Moonwalk half marathon through the streets of Edinburgh.

He said that he is determined not to let cerebral palsy get in the way of his goals.

“It has obviously affected me throughout my life but I don’t make a big deal about it at all,” he told the newspaper.

  • At EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with a range of disabling conditions, including cerebral palsy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today.