The average 17-year-old is occupied with college, friends and travelling. But for Gareth Binsale, his teenage years were turned upside down after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis; a chronic health condition that affects the brain and spinal cord. He’s raising money to get his own stan ding wheelchair, which will greatly benefit his health and wellbeing.
Back to the time of his diagnosis, against all the odds he graduated with a BA Sociology at Cardiff University, and obtained a master’s degree in Childhood Studies at the University of Wales. After graduating, he worked as a teaching assistant at St David’s Primary School, until his ill health forced him to stop doing his job. Unfortunately, the Multiple Sclerosis had developed into secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis. As his MS progressed, Gareth hasn’t been able to walk for four years, so he relies on a wheelchair for transport.
The most debilitating part of his Multiple Sclerosis, Gareth says, is not being able to stand. The inability to stand has detrimental effects to his bodily functions, from skin sores, to heart conditions, to reduced bone density and osteoporosis. Now at the age of 32, Gareth is trying to raise the money to buy a standing wheelchair, which is not yet available on the NHS, but can be live-changing for people like Gareth.
The chair he is fundraising for allows him to stand upright, sit, or fully recline. It also provides more support than a standard wheelchair, making him feel more safe and comfortable. Users of standing wheelchair feel more independent and it’s incredible to join conversations as normal, rather than being looked down upon in the chair.
So far, he has raised £3500 – £8000 short of his £11500 target. To raise as much money as they can, his mother is running a 10km every day for 7 days. Gareth’s story has touched us here at Local Link, and we hope that spreading the word can help him reach his goal and allow him to stand again. If you would like to donate, just click on the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/wheelchairfunduk1987. To help Gareth get closer to his goal, make sure you share his story, so he can get the support he needs and deserves.
Good luck Gareth, from all of us at Local Link Magazine!