Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page for Rio's Appeal - RUN RIO RUN (www.Run-Rio-Run.co.uk)
Ever since we took Rio to the last night of the Paralympic Athletics on 8th September 2012, where he saw his first Paralympic Hero, Bladerunner Oscar Pistorius win the T44 400m Gold, he wanted to get his very own running blade and to run on the Olympic Stadium track!
It was at The Greatest Team Parade that we first heard about the wonderful charity LimbPower (www.limbpower.com) and we then took Rio to The LimbPower Primary Amputee Games at Stoke Mandeville a week after The London 2012 Paralympics - it was whilst there that we saw how much he loved running on the track, and when LimbPower made his dream of meeting his idol Jonnie Peacock come true by putting us in touch with Channel 4 News to make a promo clip for Sports Fest (see link below), even Jonnie remarked how fast Rio was on the track, considering he was running with a heavy, rigid leg! www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AC1gzIFILo
It was after seeing this video in December 2012 that Dorset Orthopaedic made Rio's first dream of having his very own running blade come true, by very generously sponsoring Rio to make his Fireman Sam running blade for free!
The blade was the best Christmas present Rio could have wished for, but at a cost of £4,000 for each complete running blade, we need all the help we can get to provide @BladeBoyRio with new prosthetic running blades throughout his childhood, as his heavy, rigid NHS prosthetic leg restricts his movement. The socket alone costs £2,500 and will need to be replaced every 6-9 months, and the blade, which costs £1,500, will need to be replaced annually, depending on Rio's rate of growth.
The running blade has given Rio a new lease of life - he is so much more confident and happier in himself, and he hasn't stopped smiling since he started wearing it - now he can keep up with his able-bodied friends, even overtaking them when they race each other!
Jonnie Peacock has been such an inspiration and an incredible role model for Rio (and by an amazing coincidence, they they even share the same birthday!), and our little Paralympics fan was so excited when Jonnie gave him a special mention during an interview at the Guildford Sports Fest on 4th December 2012 - it was definitely the highlight of Rio's day there to meet his hero again, and Jonnie very kindly presented Rio with a signed athletics shirt! www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsarklYMwrQ
Rio's other dream of running on the Olympic Stadium Track came true on 21st July 2013 when he ran in The National Lottery Anniversary Family Run(www.nationallotteryrun.com/Events/Family-Run) - he jumped at the chance to run in the blade steps of his Paralympic Heroes, and he had so much fun, despite the 32c heat! Here he is running on the track: http://youtu.be/gvakCHVF8E8 (thanks to Steve Sparrow for the great video!) and on the official video (fast forward to 1:16): http://youtu.be/juCmfz9s260
Rio was then very lucky to win a place in Sainsbury's "Race to Rio" event at The Olympic Stadium on 26th July 2013, where he went to the top of The Orbit, met Christine Ohuruogo, had a warm-up session with Jess Ennis-Hill's Coach, Toni Minichiello, and then completed his four laps of the track for his pledged mile to raise money for ParalympicsGB!
The grand finale of Rio's super Summer of Para-Sport was The Anniversary Games, where he enjoyed doing a C4 interview with Clare Balding and Ade Adepitan (http://youtu.be/8l5q5Rd9Z-Q & http://youtu.be/BlKARxVnxW0, and Clare then talked about him on her new show with Richard Whitehead (fast forward to 1:23): http://youtu.be/4DvKoBkDqqQ. Rio also had the privilege of meeting his Brazilian Hero Alan Oliveira for an iconic photo shoot with the T44 100m, 200m and 400m World Champion and London 2012 200m Gold Medallist, and Jonnie Peacock, T44 100m London 2012 Gold Medallist.
Through the power of social media and a tweet of Rio with a screen shot of Alan at Lyon 2013, our little Blade Boy was then invited by The Brazilian Paralympic Committee to not only the Rio 2016 Paralympics as a special guest, but also to take part in The Brazilian Schools Paralympic Games in Sao Paolo in November 2013 - see More4 videos: (fast forward to 1:08) http://youtu.be/iiUGNm4a5CI and http://youtu.be/4H4M3tT3--A - and then by the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to Rio to meet their staff and talk about how London 2012 inspired him.
Rio had the most wonderful two week trip to Brazil in November 2013 - he enjoyed spending quality time with Alan in Sao Paulo, and watching the different sport events at the School Paralympics, in addition to lots of varied activities - visiting a rehabilitation centre, the Corinthians Football Club training ground, the Nike HQ, the Football Museum and a theme park! Then Rio went to Rio where he took the mic to sing songs and talk to the Rio 2016 team about his Paralympic heroes, went sightseeing to all the wonderful places we went to on our honeymoon (yes, that's why he's called Rio!), visited a school where they hosted a mini-Paralympic Games in Rio's honour and he carried the torch in the torch relay and was guest of honour at a children's hospital Christmas party.
http://rio2016.com/blog/en/olympic-and-paralympic-valuesRio had a very exciting end to 2013 when he was invited to the Seranata Latina concert at the QE Hall in London by the charity Steps (www.steps-charity.org.uk) ,and then to a reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at No.10 Downing Street for the charity Demand (www.demand.org.uk): http://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/samantha-camerons-heartfelt-support-for-charity-that-helped-ivan-8997813.html This film, made by Demand to show how their equipment has helped Rio, was very well received: http://youtu.be/Gm10rwYjcRM
2014 got off to a very exciting start as Rio received his new "Rio" blade from Dorset Othopaedic on 24th January - the first child in the UK to be fitted with the Junior Cheetah® Xplore with a silicone foot, so now he can wear a pair of shoes/trainers and be fully integrated into his PE lessons at school: http://www.dorset-ortho.com/rio-hits-the-national-headlines-with-his-new-blade/; http://www.ossur.co.uk/Pages/11765?NewsID=4440&nc=1
Following Rio's visit to the PM's house in December, he received an equally prestigious invitation to attend a tea party at The House of Lords on 29th January for the launch of a new charity, Limbless Children International (LCI) where he met up with some of his young amputee friends and was also introduced to the inspirational Ali Abbas, who survived a missile attack on his home in Bagdhad in 2003 but lost both his arms - now he and his friend Ahmad Hamza, also an amputee, want to help other young amputees around the world.
As Rio will need a new socket for his blade this year, your donations will help give him the necessary lightweight running blade he needs to fulfil his true potential!
To learn more about Rio's story, his progress and adventures - both on and off the running track - please visit his fundraisiing website: www.Run-Rio-Run.co.uk, and his Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RioWoolf - you can also follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RioWoolf @BladeBoyRio - we are aiming to get as many "Likes" and Followers as we can (now that Rio has reached over 700, he's aiming for 1,000!) so that your Facebook and Twitter Friends will see Rio's story and in turn, will also "Like" his page/RT his Tweets, so that we can get maximum support for Rio and spread the word about our fundraising campaign and raise awareness of the exciting opportunities available to "differently-abled" children.
You can be part of the London 2012 Legacy of inspiring a generation by helping Rio reach his future goal, by donating to fund the right lightweight limbs for him to have fun and live life to the full, but above all, you'll be giving @BladeBoyRio the freedom to run, hop, skip and jump, just like his able-bodied friends, with a new spring in his step!
Rio has shown the will to succeed from such a young age, overcoming so many obstacles in his life, and we know he has the discipline and determination to fulfil his Paralympic dreams in 2024!
RUN RIO RUN!!!
Please note that LimbPower are holding these funds for Rio while his trust is established. LimbPower are not contributing to the fund nor will they be taking a fee.
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