I won't usually namecheck anybody on here unless I have their explicit permission. However, I hope the individual concerned forgives me (even though they hate publicity) because I honestly admire their bravery – apart from that what I am going to talk about is in the public domain anyway.
On Saturday I had a couple of very interesting conversations (as well as a go in a “Cross-Country” wheelchair).
Don't worry – the conversations and the wheelchair were all connected (and not just because the two humans and the wheelchair were in the same place at the same time).
One of the conversations was with my very good friend John Coster. He and I were talking about health (mine) as well as sight problems – he thought that I might be able to help someone else who is blind.
The other conversation was with an amazing – yet publicity-shy – man who I love talking to when I see him. David Needham has got Motor Neuron Disease and is in a wheelchair. In fact – David was really the reason I was in the same place as him, John, and the “Cross-Country” Wheelchair.
Well – I call it a “Cross-Country” wheelchair but that is not what David is planning on using it for (it just looks like one with its BMX-type tyres and its levers) – that would be far too easy.
David is planning on using it to raise money for MND (a charity which focuses on Motor Neuron Disease) – by completing the Three Peaks Challenge. This sounds challenging enough when you can walk and climb but I can't imagine what it would be like in a wheelchair.
I know I can sound a bit like a broken record when it comes to the subject of how people with disabilities are perceived by the rest of the population but I honestly think that David's courage and determination go some way to prove that – just because you are disabled and you may not be able to do things in the same way as everybody else – with a little thought you can achieve the same things as them. It might take you a lot longer and you might have to find some ingenious ways around the challenges and obstacles presented by your disability but – trust me – it can be done.
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