OSCAR Hughes is pedalling his way back to fitness following brain tumour treatment after being given an exercise bike by a fitness expert.
The nine-year-old from Dunnington, near York, has suffered neuropathy – damage to the nerve endings – while undergoing chemotherapy to ensure the tumour never returns.
His mother, Marie, said this had caused “foot drop”, making it difficult to lift the front part of his foot and get the exercise he needed. As his balance had also been affected, cycling was not an option at this stage.
She said that former York City and Leeds United star Richard Cresswell, who lives in the village and is a friend of the family, heard about this and mentioned it to his personal trainer, Ian Walbridge, who owns Centurion Fitness and Training.
Ian immediately offered to give Oscar, a huge football fan, an exercise bike and also some personal fitness advice.
“Oscar was super excited to get the bike and went on it straight away,” she said. “It made him so happy. He is going on it initially for ten minutes a day but that will increase as he builds his muscle strength.”
She said Oscar, who had a large brain tumour removed just over a year ago, had now undergone six courses of chemotherapy with only two more to go.
Doctors had said that to tackle the foot drop problem, he would have to have both legs put in plaster for four to six weeks after the final chemotherapy, so he was keen to build up his muscle strength as much as possible before that happened.
Ian, who is York City’s strength and conditioning coach, said there was a history of cancer in his family, and he had immediately wanted to help as soon as he heard about Oscar. “He is a great lad,” he said. “He is so polite.”
Oscar won a Child Of The Year award at the York Community Pride Awards ceremony last year.