Students at Limavady Grammar School went the extra mile to help one of their fellow pupils by organising a unique fundraiser.
Funds raised from the school’s Colour Run last week have been donated to Eglinton gymnast Jennifer Smyth. The teenager was left quadriplegic after a tragic training accident.
Jennifer, who has chronicled her recovery, and fundraising on her Facebook page Jennifer’s Journey, is making a remarkable recovery from the horrific injuries to her neck sustained after coming off a vault in the gym in September 2014.
Not only has Jennifer been back at school full time, she’s also back at the gym and is determined to walk again.
Jennifer’s goal has always been to attend Project Walk Paralysis Recovery Centre in the US, a goal the family will see become a reality in the summer.
The trip has been made possible thanks to fundraisers like those of her classmates and fellow pupils at Limavady Grammar.
Jennifer’s mum, Pamela, said the family continues to be overwhelmed by the kindness of people. She says they will never be able to repay people properly.
Pamela said they are excited about Project Walk, but said Jennifer, who is studying for her A-levels and hopes to attend university in Birmingham, needs to regain her strength following Mitrofanoff surgery in London last month.
“We are really looking forward to it,” says Pamela, “and getting there and using the skills of the people there to put Jennifer through her paces to see the potential of what she can achieve. They have also been in touch and can’t wait until Jennifer comes out. They are confident they can make her better than she is now.”
The Colour Run was organised by Chris Stewart, Jodie Shannon, Megan Hassan, Callum Whiteside and Jennifer Smyth from Limavady Grammar School as part of our Sport Science and Active Leisure Industry A-level.
Year 14 student, Jodie Shannon said: “Once the cost of paint was taken out of the total amount raised, we decided to donate the extra money to charity. We thought it would be most beneficial to donate the money to a charity called, ‘Jennifer’s Journey’. We agreed on this charity as it is local and the money will go towards helping a fellow pupil of the school. We will also donate part of the money raised to our school PTA to help with the school minibus fund.”