Charity walk around Banbury to raise funds for lifesaving dogs

Medical detection puppy Rocky, who costs over �11,000 to train NNL-171005-130716001

Medical detection puppy Rocky, who costs over �11,000 to train NNL-171005-130716001

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The Big Walk around Banbury will take place Sunday, May 14, to help raise money for lifesaving medical detection dogs.

The 10-mile circular charity walk is being organised by Cambridge Weight Plan in support of one of its independent consultants, Paula Atkins.

Josh Atkins and his medical detection dog Rocky NNL-171005-130520001

Josh Atkins and his medical detection dog Rocky NNL-171005-130520001

Her young son, Josh, aged six, was born with a life-threatening rare medical condition which causes him to have unexplained seizures that can strike at any time and he is believed to be the only child in the world with a deletion of chromosome 6.

Now Josh has a bio-detection dog, named after his favourite Paw Patrol character Rocky, who can sniff out when he is about to have an epileptic seizure or hypoglycaemic attack.

It costs £11,200 to train a dog like Rocky and money raised from the walk and other fund-raising the Cambridge Weight Plan consultants are doing, will go directly to the medical detection dog charity based in Milton Keynes.

Paula, who is a part-time independent Cambridge Weight Plan consultant, said: “Josh has epilepsy and unexplained hypoglycaemia. We became aware of it when he was about three-and- a-half but the doctors cannot explain why he has it or a deletion of chromosome 6.

“He is unique as he is the only child in the world with this condition.”

Paula, 34, who is married to fire protection sales advisor, Darren, 36, lives in Brackley, Northamptonshire, with their other two sons, Charlie, aged eight, and Ollie, aged one.

Even though puppy Rocky hasn’t been fully trained yet, he has already saved Josh’s life.

She said: “We never know when Josh is going to be poorly as he is non-symptomatic,

“So he can be running around one minute, playing football, and then his blood sugar will drop dangerously low and he will have a seizure. It’s incredibly difficult.

“A few weeks ago, Rocky knew there was something wrong with Josh before we did and he warned us before he had four seizures. If Josh is about to have a seizure, Rocky curls up next to him and won’t move and is transfixed.

“Rocky and Josh have a really special bond and adore each other. Rocky is absolutely special to us and is a life-changing dog.”

Banbury-based independent Cambridge Weight Plan consultant, Gemma Cottingham, is helping organise The Big Walk, which starts at 10am from The Colin Sanders Innovation Business Centre on Mewburn Road, behind the college.

The walk is free, although donations to the medical detection dog charity are welcome.

Gemma is also donating £1 for every one pound her clients lose in aid of Rocky and the medical detection dog charity. So far, she has raised £150.

To find out more call Gemma on 07841 403423.