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COVID-19: Disabled guy raises money for charity in lockdown

jamie clarke with mum suzanne
jamie clarke with mum suzanne Image credit: dailyrecord.co.uk

A young man from East Kilbridge, Scotland has overcome the odds to raise money for good causes during the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown.

Jamie Clark, 22, who has cerebral palsy, vision loss, epilepsy and a rare condition which makes it difficult to regulate his temperature, completed a 2.6 walking challenge and did his family proud.

His mum Suzanne told the Daily Record: “When the coronavirus situation happened we opted to keep Jamie off his day services.

“That first week he was home there was a dramatic change in him. He just switched off to the world.

“But then Sense Scotland were back in touch and have been really supportive.

“Jamie is non-verbal. He communicates using facial expressions and gestures. These past few weeks at home we’ve been discovering communication from Jamie that we weren’t aware of.

“He’s come through so much, he’s made of strong stuff and we’ve learned so much these past few weeks about him that we might not otherwise have known. It’s a bit of light in a dark situation.”

Just like any parents Suzanne and dad Tom thought they would have trouble keeping their son occupied through lockdown, but Jamie had it all sorted.

Taking on the walking challenge he left his parents and 27-year-old brother Christopher speechless and raised £1,300 for Sense Scotland who provide him with regular care.

The budding fundraiser completed 26 laps round his family home over the course of a week using his walker.

The 2.6 challenge was launched nationwide after the London Marathon was postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

When completing the course he was met by a round of applause from his neighbours, all of which were of course abiding by the social distancing regulations!

Suzanne said: “That was quite something for him.

“He split the challenge up over a week. You could see how difficult it was for him, how drained he was. We’re really proud of him.”

His mum went on to reveal Jamie contracted meningitis when he was eight days old, the condition was life-threatening.

“When he came through I just remember being so relieved that we still had him”, she explained.

The family turned to Sense Scotland for support, the charity has been there for Jamie since he was a child.

Suzanne praised the charity saying: “The staff are amazing. Jamie has ‘episodes’ where his temperature can become hypothermic very rapidly and his heart rate can drop to a life-threatening level. He was hospitalised so many times that the health board funded specialised medical equipment which literally saves his life.

“His staff are all trained to use this equipment and they are so great with him.”

Sense Scotland’s head of fundraising, Jen Niven, Jen Niven, said: “We have been blown away by the support for us during this difficult time and Jamie’s effort is just fantastic.

“It’s testament to the quality of care given by our staff that the people we support go out their way to fundraise like this for us. Well done Jamie.”

You can make a donation to Jamie’s fundraiser via his JustGiving page.