Bertie is a fun, enthusiastic and cheeky 6 year old boy from the North of England. He also has Muscular Dystrophy. He lives with his Mum and Dad (Alison and Matt), who met while fundraising in Africa, and his older brother and sister. Together they are ‘Bertie’s Buccaneers’ and they work together to help to raise awareness of disability issues, as well as the challenges and adventures of family life with a rare disease. Click here to find out more about their mission.
Alison told us that in the summer of 2017 Bertie started asking questions about what would happen to a child like him in Africa. ‘Would they have a wheelchair?’ ‘Would they go to school?’ Through his own curiosity and kind heart Bertie found AbleChildAfrica, and decided this was a way he could be ‘someone else’s hero’.
Bertie signed up to do Parallel London’s Sensory 1K event: the world’s first fully inclusive sporting push/run event. The reason he chose this event was because it had lots of opportunities for him to be able to pause and enjoy features such as a sensory light tunnel, parachute and wind chimes – Bertie’s family told us that with his condition, Bertie wouldn’t have been able to complete the course without these elements to break up the race. Parallel London gives disabled children just like Bertie the opportunity to feel really good about themselves, rather than feeling left behind.
With the support of his siblings, Bertie walked the entire Super Sensory 1K challenge at Parallel London for AbleChildAfrica! – a massive undertaking for a boy with muscular dystrophy who has only recently turned six! So far he has managed to fundraise a fantastic £505 to help children like him in the African countries we work in. You can congratulate him on his amazing efforts and donate to his page here! We can’t thank him or his family enough for choosing to support us in this way, and we hope his story will encourage others to promote equal opportunities for disabled children.
Bertie’s mum Alison said they had the happiest summer “because in becoming a young friend of AbleChildAfrica, Bertie found a new part of himself. He became a self-appointed dynamo for children living with disabilities”.
Alison will be speaking at our Annual Gala Dinner this year, to share more of hers and Bertie’s story, to show that #weareallable, and to inspire others to get involved.