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Woman with Cerebral Palsy to walk 100km to gift wheelchairs to the underprivileged

10 August 2022

By Zane Groenewald

Brittany McCormick (25) a keynote speaker from Paarl, Western Cape, was born premature at just 25 weeks.

Attached to ‘every pipe and tube imaginable’, Brittany spent the first 3 months of her life in the intensive care unit, where her anxious parents Hadley (59) and Anthea (53) watched over her.

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At the age of 1 Brittany was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia of high muscle tone, told she would never be able to walk, and that living past the age of 18 would be a ‘miracle’.

Defying the odds, Brittany learned to crawl at 2, and with the help of physiotherapy during lockdown, she can now even walk short distances on her treadmill with little assistance, a major triumph.

“I had come so far with learning to walk that I didn’t want to backtrack, so my family and I kept it going throughout the lockdown. During this time, I felt I needed a challenge, so I took part in the virtual races of the justice league and completed the entire series. Fast forward a year and a bit, I’m still learning to walk unassisted.” – says Brittany

Putting her best foot forward

Near the end of 2021, the pipes beneath Brittany’s wheelchair cracked, and was in dire need of a service. Spending 10 days without her wheels, Brittany was put in a humbling position.

“I understood first-hand how reliant I am on my wheelchair, and how limiting life can be if your mobility is taken away from you. I began thinking of the people who aren’t in the financial position to afford a wheelchair, let alone get it repaired. This struck a string within my heart.” -says Brittany

Challenging her will and her abilities, Brittany came up with an idea to give at least 6 individuals their own wheelchair, by walking 100km on her treadmill over the next 6 months.

To make her charitable dream come true, Brittany launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy with a fundraising goal of R70 000, to benefit Paarl School in Brackenfell, who will select the underprivileged beneficiaries most in need.

Since the launch of her campaign on 4 April 2022, Brittany has raised over R45 0000 with kind contributions from 64 donors. For every R8500 raised, Brittany will fund a wheelchair for someone in need.

While she had originally intended to walk 100km in six months, Brittany has already walked 90km since she started her incredible journey 3 months ago.

One of my biggest goals going into this was wanting to show that no matter what others’ opinions are it’s your determination, drive and willpower that really matter in the end.

This journey has taught me to have a different respect for my body and health as well as my mindset. It has given me a new view and perspective of what your inner abilities really are and a new level of not only determination but dedication. 

Thank you to everyone who liked, shared, featured the purpose walk, and interviewed me for their publication. And a very special thank you to my family and friends for pushing me when I felt I have very little left. For the continuous encouragement and for celebrating the small milestones with me that were huge achievements in small ways I’m forever grateful. – says Brittany

With just over 10kms to go, Brittany hopes to inspire the public to continue donating to help her reach her target

This journey of the purpose walk is not yet over, I still need your help to hit my target. We have come too far to give up, we are all in this together. Our vision and dreams can become a reality if we work together.

If you’d still like to contribute towards her dream and help others, Brittany’s campaign is still open and accepting donations.

Support Brittany’s campaign on BackaBuddy:

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/brittany-mccormick

Alternatively, make a donation on Snapscan:

https://pos.snapscan.io/qr/BrittanyMcCormick

 

 

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