MID YELL teenager Brynn Hauxwell will be tackling a tough fundraising challenge over the weekend having already smashed a £6,666 target set to help him buy an all-terrain wheelchair.
Accompanied by a team of friends and relatives including his mother Kim, sister Faith (10) and pal Harrison Nisbet, 14-year-old Brynn intends to complete an all-terrain course around Fethaland on Saturday and St Ninian’s Isle on Sunday.
Brynn, who has autism and ADHD as well as brittle asthma, has more recently suffered painful ankle contractures that leave him unable to walk more than a short distance aided by walking poles. He started with physio exercises and went to orthotics, but these had no lasting effect.
He will be completing the 20k in an all-terrain wheelchair borrowed from Ability Shetland, with the assistance of his team in the roughest stretches.
Brynn’s view on the challenge is that he is “nervous but very excited”, said Kim.
So far he has raised over £7,600 in just three weeks. Once he passed his £6,666 target, the charity supporting Brynn, Just4Children, automatically raised the target on his JustGiving Page to £10,000.
Just4Children will keep hold of the money for him to enable him to purchase any further wheelchair adaptions or medical equipment he may need in the future up until he is 25 years old.
Kim said: “We are overwhelmed and speechless at how well this has gone. I did not think that we would reach the target to be honest.”
She said that Brynn had initially used an ordinary wheelchair but that had restricted his movement and kept him to level surfaces. Since he was loaned the Ability Shetland all terrain chair in July, it had transformed both his use of the chair and his mental health.
“The difference in him is unbelievable,” said Kim.
He has been around the Voxter and Kergord woods and has put in some hard training over the past week for his 20k challenge.
But the chair he has set his sights on, a Quickie Xenon, has considerable advantages, being custom fitted, much lighter and has even greater mobility. He went to a specialist assessment centre in Edinburgh to have the chair fitted.
Brynn has made good use of social media with his Breaking Down Barriers with Brynn Facebook page, and Twitter put him in touch with cycling giant Chris Hoy and presenter Ben Fogle, who have given their support.
He has been hugely inspired by Anna McNuff, who is running 100 barefoot marathons across Britain, and started in Skaw in June. Like Kim, Anna is involved in the Girl Guides.
According to Kim, Brynn’s fundraising experiences have spurred him to get involved in more fundraising and he is keen to do something for Ability Shetland to help pay them back for the use of the all terrain wheelchair.
He has already completed 250 hours volunteering at bairns’ weekend clubs in Unst and Yell by way of a thank you to the community.
If you’d like to contribute to Brynn’s wheelchair fund, the JustGiving page is at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/breakingdownbarrierswithbrynn