This year a twenty one strong Farm team will be running for the charity Reach, nominated by Jon Wright.
Here is Jon's story of why Reach is important to him and his family:
As some of you may know my wife Lindsay and I have two lovely children, Elizabeth and Joseph. Between them they have two cheeky smiles, four smelly feet and only three hands. My wife and I found out at our first prenatal scan that Joseph was missing his left hand. The news was delivered very solemnly by the consultant and was met with positivity from my wife and I, and since that moment we’ve always known he’ll get on just fine- if not a little differently.
Joseph was born an otherwise perfectly healthy boy, and is now an energetic, loud, opinionated 3 year old. He has a natural problem solving ability to make sure anything his sister can do he can do too, and he will always find his way of getting things done.
‘Upper limb difference’ is the technical term for any kind of difference in the arms, and whilst in our household lack of hand does not mean lack of ability or opportunity, we have found great support and community in the charity Reach.
Reach provide advice, counselling and information for children and families that live with upper limb difference. They organise fun activities to encourage young people to celebrate their ability, rather than focusing on disability. The meet-ups challenge the children whilst connecting other family members in order to share experiences and it is often this sense of community that helps the most.
Meeting other people in a similar situation is invaluable. Some families cope well with the challenges of limb difference, but for others there is genuine fear, worry and hurt when thinking about future. We are one of thousands of families that have benefitted from the work of Reach, and as a result our son has had the opportunity to meet and play with other kids that look like him, and explore his limb difference in a safe environment amongst people who have been through the same life experiences.
To know where to turn for advice on anything from how to teach one handed shoe tying, to expertise on prosthetic and myoelectric limbs is very comforting for us and many others nationwide.
We are only three years into our journey with Reach, but in this short time we have seen it make a big difference in the lives of children with upper limb differences, and we will for years to come