Eleven families with children suffering from muscular dystrophy joined staff and clients of the Zibrant events agency for a ‘muscle dreams’ experience at the Paralympics last week, as part of an initiative organised by the Muscle Help Foundation. The charity helps organise experiences for children and young people with muscle-wasting disease muscular dystrophy.
The group included children aged between eight and 19, all of whom use power chairs, who applied for a place to attend the Paralympics. They were looked after on the day by Zibrant managing director - sales and marketing Fay Sharpe and senior conference consultant Seb Bown, plus three of the agency’s clients who volunteered to take part: Joanna Lawlor of AstraZeneca; Gill Wise of Diageo; and Bingül Akaroglu of Clifford Chance. The volunteers were chosen on the basis of written ‘entries’ saying why they would like to be involved.
Included in the schedule was a ‘Musclympics’ welcome party on Thursday and a full day at the Olympic Park with seats at the Paralympic athletics and 7-a-side wheelchair football.
Sharpe said: “This was a truly humbling as well as an uplifting experience and I hope that the children and their families have a memory to treasure. The Muscle Help Foundation is a small specialist charity run by husband and wife team Michael and Sue McGrath and it was simply incredible to be part of the ‘muscle dreams’ initiative. These young people are some of the bravest and loveliest children I have ever met and it was an amazing privilege to spend time with them. It filled me with pride to see how well the organisers of London 2012 were prepared for disabled visitors – the logistics were seamless and enabled our wheelchair users to manoeuvre without difficulty.”
Pictured (back, L-R): Fay Sharpe, Joanna Lawlor, Bingül Akaroglu, Gill Wise and Seb
Bown at the Olympic Stadium with some of the young 'muscle dreams'