A seven-year-old girl with disabilities will be taking part in this year's Cumbernauld 10K on 17 September alongside her father thanks to a pioneering all-terrain, one-wheeled chair. Abbie Young has spina bifida and hydrocephalus, which means she is unable to walk, but she will be piloting a Joëlette along with her dad James and a team of JAPES volunteers.
The work of JAPES has now helped 12 people with disabilities or mobility issues to experience the thrill and camaraderie of taking part in mass running events, however Abbie and James will be the first father-and-daughter duo to take part together.
Abbie and James are participating to raise funds for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland, which provides the family with advice, weekly one-to-one support and an environment where James and Abbie's mum Danielle can share their experiences with other families facing similar challenges. Abbie, who attends a mainstream school, is also a regular at SBH Scotland's 'Be All You Can Be' group at the Dan Young Building in Cumbernauld where she can play and learn with other children with similar conditions, in a setting suited to her needs.
JAPES founder Nelson Liddle said: "With a team of volunteer runners, we have now helped 12 'pilots' with a range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, genetic disorder, spinal injury and spina bifida, to participate in runs from 3km to a marathon.
"The messages I have received from carers and parents are exceedingly positive; this truly is a life enriching experience and smashes the barriers to participation."