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£120raised of £8,500 target by 6 supporters

Weʼre raising £8,500 to buy a wheelchair so I can go to university

16 days to go

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At age 24 I became suddenly unwell with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - a serious neurological condition which affects all of the body's systems and currently has no cure. The primary symptom is debilitating full-body fatigue and muscle weakness, which significantly limits my ability to walk.

I recently received an offer to study a part-time MSci degree in Biology at a Russell Group university, starting this September. This is a dream come true, and I am extremely excited. My long-term goal is to work as a research scientist focusing on Environmental Biology, and to mentor other young people with disabilities to pursue careers in science.

While I am super excited about this opportunity, I am also faced with a problem: I cannot walk far enough to get around campus to lectures, the library etc., or to participate in the field trips which will be an integral part of my degree. I do not want to miss out on this opportunity, and I am really keen to get outside and take part in learning practical and fieldwork skills.

In sum, I need a wheelchair. I was referred by my GP to the NHS wheelchair services but told that I am not eligible for support, even though I am mostly housebound because of my mobility problems. Unfortunately the Motability scheme cannot provide the kind of wheelchair that I need either, nor can Disabled Students' Allowances.

Because I do not have a car, carer or adapted home, I need a wheelchair that is small, folding, and light enough for me to dismantle and lift myself, as I will need to get it in and out of my house and onto mini buses for field trips. Because of my fatigue and reduced arm strength, I also need something that is power-assisted because I won't be able to push it myself. Unfortunately the chairs provided by the Motability scheme are far too heavy and bulky for me to manage.

The wheelchair that will best meet my needs is the Kuschall Champion (pictured above and in video below). It is lightweight and can be folded up with just one hand movement, making it manageable for me to get in and out of my house, on and off transport, and not too big to be a hazard in the lab. It can also be purchased with quick release wheels and an additional pair of mountain-bike wheels which will mean I can go off-road with it on field trips.

The chair can be powered by a piece of technology called a Max Mobility Smart Drive MX2+.

This is a lightweight power pack which can be hooked onto the back of the wheelchair to push it along. I can control it by wearing a wristband and just tapping my wrist to start, stop and change speed. This means that even when my arms are at their weakest I will still be able to get around. The Smart Drive is powerful enough to push me over grass and up hills, which is important for field trips.

The total cost of the wheelchair plus smart drive (including delivery) is £8500 (this is based on an online quote from the supplier's website and includes the cut that Just Giving will take - I am waiting for an exact personalised quote from the supplier and will update this page with the exact amount once I have received the quote).

Unfortunately I don't have the resources to pay for this, and as you can imagine this is not an easy amount of money to raise while trying to just get through day-to-day life with this illness.

Any assistance would be hugely appreciated, and I will pay it back in kind by working hard to become a good scientist, and by encouraging more people with disabilities to work in science.

Thank you very much,


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  • Merry Biologist3 months ago
    Merry Biologist

    Merry Biologist

    3 months ago

    Hi everyone, I have been a bit quiet here lately as been having lots of wheelchair rep visits, OT appointments etc which has been tiring me out. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. Your support is really appreciated. It looks like I will be able to get partial funding from Access to Work and the NHS after all (woohoo!). But I still have to raise between £2000 and £4000 myself. I have decided to move this page to another platform (coming soon) but you can still donate here in the meantime. Thank you all, and please share :) MB.

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  • Merry Biologist5 months ago
    Merry Biologist

    Merry Biologist

    5 months ago
    Update from the Page owner

    Yay! We have reached the first £100! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far! Please keep sharing to keep the donations coming in - every little helps 🤓

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  • Merry Biologist5 months ago
    Merry Biologist

    Merry Biologist

    5 months ago

    Hi everyone, I have Facebook and Twitter profiles! If anybody would like to keep up with my endeavours, I hope to keep these profiles updated with my fundraising progress, and later my degree progress, research, and cool things related to Biology and/or being a scientist with a disability: Facebook: Merry Biologist Twitter: @MerryBiologist This week's Twitter highlight - Hydroids (obelia)! The kind-of-jellyfish that look like plants from a sci-fi movie!

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6 months ago

Merry Biologist started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 5/19/2018 10:58 PM



  • Sandra Low

    Sandra Low

    Apr 13, 2018

    I do hope you can follow your dreams. I would love to have studied biology myself but became too ill with ME.


  • Anonymous


    Mar 24, 2018

  • Justine McLaughlin

    Justine McLaughlin

    Mar 14, 2018

    Good Luck!


  • Anonymous


    Mar 11, 2018

    Good luck at university, brave biologist! x

  • H B

    H B

    Mar 9, 2018


  • Anonymous


    Mar 5, 2018

    Good luck with your fundraising

Merry Biologist

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