Just over a year ago, a young man and his challenges was brought to my attention at a time when we were looking for the new Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champions for 2020. This young man’s exploits were amazing and the way he was talking he had more to come.
He is 15 year old Brynn Hauxwell and he lives in Shetland with his mom and sister. He has a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, severe asthma and has fixed ankle contractures which means he must rely on a wheelchair to get around. He is a volunteer with Ability Shetland and has been helping at their children’s clubs for over 2 years.
This year he was planning to raise funds for Ability Shetland, but everything was initially put on hold because of Covid-19. But after a lot of thought he decided that this year’s challenge was to attempt to push myself in his wheelchair 1679 miles, the equivalent of the coastline of the Shetlands. He has also going to be doing this whilst self-isolating in his house and garden using an Invictus wheelchair trainer (exercise rollers for wheelchairs!).
His chosen charity is Ability Shetland, a charity that provides support to people all over Shetland, from children’s clubs, sports clubs, art clubs, boat trips, going on walks and the use of adapted equipment for locals and visitors to use to get outside and explore what Shetland has to offer.
Last year Ability Shetland helped Brynn to rediscover the great outdoors and also his freedom by the loan of an all-terrain Mountain Trike wheelchair. With Ability Shetlands help and the use of the Mountain trike Brynn was able to fundraise to purchase his own active wheelchair.
In Brynn’s own words:
My life has changed so much since then and it is because of this that I have been able to get outside and see sights I never thought I would see with my family and friends. My family have now become official OS Getoutside Champions and I have also been recognised as Ledlenser’s everyday hero, none of this we ever thought possible.
All the money he raises goes to Ability Shetland to enable them to continue helping and providing support to the people of Shetland and visitors from far and wide.
This Sunday he will reach the end of his 1679 mile challenge when at 1pm on Sunday 13 December he will push the final 5km. He will be supported across the whole country by family, friends and fellow OS GetOutside Champions who will also be doing a 5km walk at the same time.
Me, I will be doing my bit by walking backwards for 5km to help Brynn push his target even higher. Why backwards? For those old enough to remember the great Sir Harry Secombe and the Goon Show, you may recall a song they sang – I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas, and I thought it quite appropriate at this time of year.
So what can you do?
Well Brynn’s Mum (Kim) has set up a Just Giving page and so far he has raised almost £5,500 for Ability Shetland. So, all you have to do is follow this LINK and make your donation. Please do not send any monies to me but direct to Brynn.
Brynn is one truly inspirational young man. He is focused, determined, and has a maturity beyond his years. Always supported by his ‘Pit Crew’ Mom – Kim, Sister – Faith and Neko the Adventure Cat. He has pushed his wheelchair through storms, high winds, Covid-19 and many other hurdles. Let’s all help Brynn complete his challenge and smash his fund raising target.
Donations can be made to justgiving.com/fundraising/Brynns1679milesofshetlandcoastline
For further information check out Brynn’s Instagram page instagram.com/breakingdownbarrierswithbrynn/