Brave 12-year-old with incurable disease launches fundraising campaign

A caring Sidmouth 12-year-old has launched a campaign to help others - before an incurable condition robs him of the use of his arms and legs.

Todd Whitrow, of Winslade Road, has been in and out of hospital since he was a baby and is confined to a wheelchair at school.

The Sidmouth College student was finally diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy last year after more than a decade of doctors’ appointments and tests.

The progressive disease causes muscles and sensation to deteriorate and Todd will eventually lose the use of his limbs.

His mum, Pamela, said the diagnosis had come as a relief – and had inspired the pair to raise cash for causes that help families in similar situations.

“He always thought he was going to get better, but now he knows it will only get worse,” she told the Herald.

“Now he just wants other people to have a good life.”

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“Todd isn’t bitter. It’s a massive shock knowing that he will eventually lose the use of his limbs, but he’s determined to enjoy life and make the most of it while he can.”

Since his diagnosis, Todd has embarked on a fundraising drive that started with a solo wheelchair trek from Sidmouth College to the seafront and back, which raised �180 for the Neuropathy Trust.

He has encouraged his mum to take on a skydive in August for the Family Fund, which aids families raising disabled and seriously ill children. Pamela hopes to raise �1,000.

“We’ve both been given a new focus,” said Pamela, who gave up her job as an office manager to care for Todd.

“Hopefully, this will be the first of many fundraising events and activities and the start of a new chapter. Todd really wants to do the skydive too and only his age is stopping him.”

Todd helps out at Sidmouth Rugby Club despite his condition, which has worsened due to a severe fall, and helps out as a linesman and with filming matches.

He was named the club’s under-12s Man of the Year last week.

? To sponsor Todd and Pamela, go to

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