In total this year we have offered seven Grants to young people with Ataxia. Each applicant submits a proposal for how they intend to use their grant. This year two applicants are buying digital cameras; both are photographers building businesses. Another successful application has been made to part-fund an electric wheelchair for a young person setting off to university this year.
When he was diagnosed with Friedreich's Ataxia, Darren wondered how he would maintain his independence and find a purpose for his life. Darren discovered that horse-riding was a way he could continue to move freely without his wheelchair. Not satisfied with attending group sessions, Darren has thrown himself into competitive riding; attending and placing in national competitions. His personal journey of determination and resilience saw him named as Rider of the Year 2017 (Riding for the Disabled Association). Until the Mark Dower Grant was awarded, Darren had only a basic saddle, designed for able-bodied, non-competitive beginners. We are delighted to award a grant to such an inspiring young man and wish Darren all the best in his equestrian endeavors.