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Billy Caldwell (11) to begin 150-mile walk to help fund epilepsy treatment

Billy Caldwell (11) will begin a 150-mile walk to Belfast tomorrow to to help fund his life-saving epilepsy treatment
Gareth McKeown

A Co Tyrone child with life-threatening epilepsy will embark on a 150-mile walk to Belfast tomorrow to help fund vital treatment in America.

Billy Caldwell (11), from Castlederg, returned home from Los Angeles in February after six months of cannabis oil treatment to control his seizures.

Now, after more than 40 days seizure-free, he is beginning an eight-day walk to the Royal Victoria Hospital, stopping off in towns and villages across the north.

The trek aims to help fund Billy's life-saving care and make his case to the Department of Health, with the ultimate aim of receiving treatment in the north on a full-time basis.

The walk, which leaves Castlederg at 9am tomorrow, will end at the Royal Victoria Hospital on March 22 when Billy and his mother Charlotte will meet with clinicians.

"Billy is a wee boy of 11 years of age and because of the CBD and THC (cannabis compounds) he is today 44 days seizure free," Charlotte said.

"I'm his voice and he's my heart and I'm going to fight for him until the bitter end."

The schoolboy will return to Los Angeles in the coming weeks for a brain scan to determine if he is suitable for surgery.

For more information on 'Billy's Cannabis Walk' see the Keep Billy Alive Facebook page. To donate see www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/keepbillyalive2.

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