THREE years ago, Wonder Woman Roxi Aldrich was unable to walk so there were almost no words for her dad to describe how it felt watching her complete a 1km dash around Lake Windsor.

Dressed as a superhero, Roxi, six, who has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, went the distance at the first Winter Wonderwheels, part of the UK’s only disability sports series.

With parents Joe Aldrich and Adi Martinkovicova in tow, her superwoman strength has raised more than £600 for physiotherapy and Team Angus Grocott - a Colchester boy and family friend who also has cerebral palsy.

Joe said: “Quite simply, she is amazing and so determined.

“Roxi doesn’t let anything faze her, and will always give everything she does her best effort.

“We were so proud of her for taking part and despite being tired by the time her event happened, she did everything with a beaming smile.

“Adi and I were frantically asking friends for costumes, and I ended up wearing a turkey on my head.”


Roxi was raring to go and Joe was happy to watch

Wonderwheels was preparation for the Superhero Tri next summer, a team triathlon event which at the very least will involve a 1k wheelchair push or run, a 3k cycle ride and 150m swim.

Roxi is already training. Joe witnessed her walk two miles during Colchester’s Beat the Street game which was an “amazing and eye-opening” experience.

Since being diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Roxi has endured two major operations to correct the painful tightness in her legs which stopped her walking.

The first one at Great Ormond Street Hospital in September 2014, cost £50,000, including post-operative treatment.

This was followed by surgery in the US, in February 2016, to bring down her heels when she walks.

Years of walking on her tippy-toes had severely tightened Roxi’s Achilles tendons to the extent not even the selective dorsal rhizotomy operation could reverse the effects of it.


Joe Aldrich and Adi Martinkovicova pictured with Roxi in 2013

He said: “It’s amazing really. Sometimes you think she’s not making much progress, but then I look at videos from before the operation and I realise how far she’s come.

“Particularly now she’s begun school, she’s a lot more confident in herself and the best thing is with the walker, she can run around with her friends which is really lovely to see.”

Roxi and Angus will need support for the rest of their lives.

Each month she visits Kids Physio Works in Copford for physiotherapy, costing £200, to build the strength necessary to be able to walk by herself one day.

The family has received an unbelievable amount of support across Colchester, which Joe says has been “bizarre and heartwarming”.

He added: “Fundraising is hard work but you’re doing it for the greater good of your child.

“If you don’t do it, nobody else will, but it has been a whirlwind few years for us.”

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