Islington woman launches fundraiser for new off-road wheelchair
PUBLISHED: 12:44 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:48 27 August 2020
An Islington woman is fundraising for a new off-road wheelchair so she can more easily access the countryside to birdwatch.
Jaz Payne, 23, was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) after contracting glandular fever at the age of 11.
Although individual experiences vary, CFS is a disorder which often causes extreme fatigue and affects a sufferer’s ability to do day-to-day activities.
Before the glandular fever and resulting CFS, Jaz was a healthy young girl who enjoyed cub camp, loved to climb trees and was part of a girls’ Year 6 football team, but after the viral illness she never truly recovered.
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She was suddenly always tired, experiencing nausea and muscle pain, as well as other symptoms and at one point, Jaz had to be tube fed.
“The thing I miss the most is being out in the countryside,” she said. “As a kid I was always climbing trees and we grew up near Brighton so clambering along the beach and I just haven’t been able to do that.”
Now, however, Jaz is feeling much more stable in her health and can get outside to bird watch.
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She does however want more suitable equipment to do so.
Her current wheelchair cannot get over cobble stones, speed bumps or curbs and this means outdoor areas can sometimes be completely inaccessible.
The wheelchair she is fundraising for, an eTrike, is designed with electric assist and is suitable for outdoor use on muddy trails - it has even been used to conquer Snowdon.
It costs about £7,000 and is customisable with different colours and modular parts. Jaz has already collected nearly £3,000 in her fundraiser.
She added: “It’s the wheelchair equivalent to a really good pair of walking boots.”
Jazz is hoping the eTrike will allow her to enjoy birdwatching with her boyfriend because at the moment they are somewhat limited with the equipment they have.
After testing out an eTrike in Osterley Park in West London, she said: “It was so good I nearly cried; you could go places.”
Donate to Jaz’s wheelchair fundraiser at https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-new-wheelchair-for-jaz
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