A Tullibody mum has followed in her daughter’s tracks when she tackled her first triathlon to raise funds for SBH Scotland.
Kirstie Dawson (45) took on the Stirling Super Sprint on June 3, a gruelling test of endurance that requires competitors to swim 400m, cycle 17km and then run for 3km whick she completed in an incredible 67 minutes and earning a new personal best in the 17km cycle.
Kirstie, who raised over £1000 for the charity, revealed her motivation for taking on the challenge comes from daughter, Meggan. The 25-year-old was born with spina bifida, a fault in the spinal column where vertebrae do not form completely, and has hydrocephalus - a condition where increased pressure on the brain can cause social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties - but that hasn’t deterred her from fulfilling her sporting ambitions.
The wheelchair racer, who competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and at one point held Scottish national records over eight separate distances, had been in training for this year’s London Marathon when she picked up pressure sores and is now taking time out to recover before taking on her next challenge. Mum Kirstie stepped in to ensure her daughter’s fundraising intentions wouldn’t be in vain.
She said: “Meggan was upset when she realised she wouldn’t be able to take part in the marathon as she had hoped to raise funds for SBH Scotland so I decided to take up the mantle. My friends persuaded me to sign up for my first triathlon so I’ve been hard in training for that. Meggan has been laughing at me looking totally exhausted as it’s usually the other way around!”
Training for the triathlon has made Kirstie even prouder of Meggan who, she reveals, has undergone more than ten operations to insert shunts which reduce swelling on the brain, and repeat bowel surgery without ever complaining.
Kirstie added: “I’m really proud of her. I’ve never met anyone so resilient and upbeat despite everything she’s been through. She jokes about the fact the operation scars on her tummy are in the shape of a giraffe!"
“She’s a true inspiration and always looking to help others. She recently had all her hair chopped off so she could donate it to a charity that helps children who have lost their hair because of leukemia and that’s just typical of her.”
SBH Scotland are in the process of creating a children’s book about Meggan to inspire other children with disabilities to never give up and not be afraid to try new things.
Her mum added: “The hardest thing for Meggan when she was growing up was that there weren’t many other kids with disabilities in our area."
“Then she was a teenager she went to a sports camp and got to meet kids like her who didn’t want their condition to define them. Hopefully this book will let other children with spina bifida or hydrocephalus realise they are not alone and that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.”
"The services and support that SBHS have given us as a family is invaluable, i am in no doubt Meggan would not be the young, confidant young lady she is today without their drive to encourage and enable her to become the best version of herself"
Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said: “Meggan’s story is truly inspirational and it’s great to see mum Kirstie getting involved now, too, in her own athletic endeavours. We wish her all the best for her triathlon."
“As a charity, we rely solely on the efforts of our supporters and because of people like Meggan and Kirstie we are able to offer a range of services from weekly support groups to tailored activities for children and young people and advice for families affected by the conditions."
You can help contribute to Kirstie's fundraising efforts.
For more information on services offered by SBH Scotland please contact us
Blair Drummond Safari Park quietly opened its gates after hours on Friday 1st June for an exclusive event, and Spinal Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland) was delighted to be involved.
‘Dreamnight at the Zoo’ is a special event that is held globally and hosted by over 300 zoos, safari parks and aquariums across 35 countries.
Dreamnight allows children and families who are living with life-long illnesses or disabilities to enjoy a memorable evening together. Blair Drummond Safari Park hosted its first Dreamnight in 2009.
This year the special evening took place between 6:00pm and 9:00pm on Friday 1st June and 1000 tickets were given to invited children and their families for a VIP experience with entertainment, refreshments and an early evening tour of the Safari Park. The families attended free of charge and their invites were allocated through charity partners. We were delighted to be given 75 briefs to pass to SBH Scotland families.
It was a very successful evening which allowed our families to have an enjoyable and unique experience with each other in a relaxing environment with other families. SBH Scotland was delighted to have been able to be a part of the event and grateful to have been invited.
Gary Gilmour Park Manager at Blair Drummond Safari Park comments: “Many of the families invited through our charity partners face challenges on a daily basis, and we’re very happy that we are able to host them for this memorable evening. Our event took place with the help of Safari Park staff, volunteers, suppliers, and supporters such as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland - we’re grateful for their commitment to make it happen.”
Event organiser and Head of Education at Blair Drummond Safari Park Katie Macfarlane said: “I’m delighted to have helped create this memorable experience for our guests- it was a very special event to organise and be part of. The families who attended all seemed to have a fantastic night. Thanks to all those who attended and volunteered on the night – we couldn’t do it without them.”
If you are affected by Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus and would like more information on what we do, please contact us.
Climbing any mountain can have its hairy moments, but members of the Scottish chapter of the Bearded Villains have returned triumphant from tackling Ben Nevis in aid of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland).
The group of 13 walkers, raised more than £4,000 by scaling Scotland’s highest peak and the only close shaves they encountered were midgie bites and blisters!
Leading the charge was Kris Day (35), from Cardonald, who was inspired to organise the climb, as his daughter Rose (8) has spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
He said; “We have a very big family network who help out a lot with her care, but we know the charity is always there for us if we need it.
“Having a child with a disability can be tough, and I know not everyone is as lucky as Rose. The charity gives amazing support to other families so we wanted to raise as much for them as we could.”
Kris has been a member of the Scottish chapter of the Bearded Villains – a brotherhood of bearded men dedicated to the betterment of mankind throughout charity and kindness - for almost a year, after managing to grow his beard past the required four centimetre mark.
He continued; “The Bearded Villains is a fraternity of bearded men from all over the world dedicated to the four pillars of loyalty, respect, charity and family.
“When deciding on fundraising pursuits, it’s usually for a cause which one of our members has a personal connection to, so I am delighted that we were able to do something for SBH Scotland. Standing at the summit, knowing the charity was benefiting from our efforts was an incredible feeling.
“We’re also committed to doing things for our local communities – like clearing paths in bad weather for people who can’t do it for themselves – we all have an obligation to look after each other.”
Deborah Roe, fundraising director at SBH Scotland said; “The team climbed upwards of 1,345m to reach the summit, and we could not be more grateful for their efforts.
“Without the dedication of our supporters, we wouldn’t be able to deliver vital services to those affected by the lifelong and complex conditions of spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
“The Bearded Villains, are heroes in our eyes."
To donate to the Bearded Villains’ Ben Nevis climb, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bearded-villains-scotland
Unless you've been lucky enough to have been away for the past couple of months in some exotic location, the chances are you have not only heard about GDPR but are, by now, very tired of hearing about it!
Today, it's finally here - Friday 25th May 2018!The new General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") replaces the previous Data Protection Act. We at SBH Scotland take our responsibilities under all data regulations very seriously and we ensure the personal information we obtain is held, used, transferred and otherwise processed in accordance with the new regulations and all other applicable data protection laws and regulations including, but not limited to, the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR).
SBH Scotland are delighted to announce that Global's Make Some Noise Campaign have generously donated £80,000 to our Be All You Can Be Project. We are truly overwhelmed and can't thank everyone who took part in the campaign enough for their amazing support.The Be All You Can Be project was set up by SBH Scotland to promote independence in children, providing more intensive support through sensory play and finding innovative ways to make learning fun and accessible for each individual child affected by the conditions. Des Clarke, Amy Irons and Steven Wills from the Capital Scotland breakfast show all made a visit to one of the Be All You Can Be after school groups recently to share the great news.
Deborah Roe, Director of Fundraising for SBH Scotland said,
"Wow, we simply can’t thank Global’s Make Some Noise campaign enough! For over fifty years, Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland (SBH Scotland) have offered a lifetime commitment of support to all those affected by the lifelong, complex disabilities of spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus and we are almost solely self-funded. To provide our extensive levels of support and information each year we need to raise £1 million so every penny really does makes a difference. We are incredibly grateful to the Global Make Some Noise Campaign and all those who have taken the time to support it. This generous grant which will play a critical part in our early years work with children aged 0-11 across Scotland for the next two years through our Be All You Can Be project .
The grant will allow us to provide dedicated Early Years Support Workers who offer weekly one-to-one home, nursery, school and hospital support sessions as well as regular Be All You Can Be play groups and family support groups.