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Strikeforce Wheelchair for Jack

$9,500 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 80 people in 6 months
Created July 25, 2018
Hi! I'm Jack. I'm a 30-year-old special needs teacher, amateur filmmaker and hopeful athlete, and I need your help.

I was born with Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD) - a progressive muscle-wasting disease that affects my ability to walk and carry out day-to-day activities. As a kid I was just like any other, but just before I entered my teens I stopped being able to run. Slowly I found myself unable to do more things; walking up small inclines, raising my arms above my head, being able to climb stairs, and even rolling over in bed. I started falling. More and more frequently. Walking more than 50 metres unaided and lifting anything heavier than a mobile phone, or a post-work drink on a Friday afternoon became really, really hard work. These days I use a power wheelchair to get around outside most of the time, and I need assistance at home for things like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and making the bed. 

This is not a sob story. It is one of empowerment. When I finally got my own electric wheelchair, much of my independence was restored. I could take my dogs for a walk again. I could go grocery shopping by myself again. I could spend an entire day at a music festival without face-planting and breaking my nose again. I could play sport again, and I did – representing the State of Western Australia in the National Electric Wheelchair Sports (NEWS) competition for 3 years. But in 2018, the game has changed. This is where you come in...

As sport becomes more accessible for people with chronic disabilities, so does disability equipment become more specialised for sporting competition. In Australia, the Eastern States of Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland have been successful in sourcing funds through corporate sponsorship and grants for sport-ready wheelchairs and disabled sports equipment. This has enabled people with disabilities, whom rely on an electric wheelchair for daily mobility, to represent Australia in international Power Football, Power Hockey and Power Rugby competitions. Unfortunately, for reasons that ultimately amount to being unable to afford and transport competition-level electric wheelchairs, Western Australians have largely missed out on selection for the Australian team in international electric wheelchair sporting events.

This GoFundMe is purposed to raise money to buy a Strikeforce power wheelchair so that I am able to represent Australia in international power wheelchair sports competitions. Strikeforce’s are made in the USA, and as such the target of this fundraiser has been adjusted for currency conversion and shipping to Perth. The chair takes 8 weeks to ship once an order has been placed – just in time to start training for the 2018/19 season. I appeal to you to donate what you can to help me achieve my goal of representing Australia in international power wheelchair sports.

Thank you for your consideration.

 
Jack
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Update 3
Posted by Jack O'keeffe
1 month ago
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Dear Donors and Friends,

Thank you, all, for your generous contributions to, and your sharing of, my campaign to raise money for a power wheelchair for competitive international wheelchair sports. The response has been astounding and I am thrilled to have such a solid level of support and interest in power wheelchair sports.

2018 has delivered exciting new opportunities and wins for the Western Electric Sport Association (WESA) and its’ players. It started in April, when our State Team, The Western Wasps, took home the cup for the last ever Australian Balloon Soccer Competition in Sydney. The cup will remain in its’ rightful home at the WESA clubrooms, where it has spent the most time in the sports 25+ year history, for years to come. Whilst it was a shame to say goodbye to such a beloved sport amongst the WA community, Balloon Soccer has been replaced by Power Soccer; a sport highly established at international-level, and bound for the next Paralympics (exciting!!)

WESA has also seen the arrival of a number of junior players join its’ ranks this year, largely thanks to a strong recruitment drive and with the help of MDA WA. The WESA board has some fresh faces, the players have received new equipment, and, as a whole, the club is looking toward an electrifying future.

We have reached the midpoint of the Western Australian Power Chair Sports season. There is a way to go to reach my target for a new power sports chair and the Aussie Dollar is decreasing in value. Mere months remain until the 2019 National Electric Wheelchair Sports (NEWS) competition in Narrabeen, Sydney, and State training is well underway. For these reasons, I am thrilled to announce that I have used the funds raised in my GoFundMe to purchase a second-hand competition-ready chair from a friend over east!! Once again, thank you all who have contributed to the campaign throughout the year.

On that note, I would also like to invite you, all, to our club at Rocky Bay in Mosman Park, for the final games before the Christmas break, this Saturday, December 15th. There will be a WESA fundraising BBQ and a selection of beers and ciders for cheap. I’ll be rocking (read: trying to master) the new chair, and you’ll get to see some superstar WA talent in 6-wheeled action. So grab a snag or a veggie patty in a bun, grab a brew, and come down to check out a round of Power Hockey and Power Soccer.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Best,

Jack
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Update 2
Posted by Jack O'keeffe
5 months ago
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A massive thank you to you who have donated to and shared this campaign so far. The response has been frankly unfathomable and my love goes out to you all.

In just 10 days I'm almost half-way toward meeting my target, so I thought I'd update with a picture in-concept..

Keep sharing xx

Jack
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Update 1
Posted by Jack O'keeffe
6 months ago
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Wow. Just - wow. In less than 24 hours I've reached 25% of my fundraising target. I can't find the words to express how overwhelmed I am by the generosity of all of you; my incredible family and friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Please, continue to share my GoFundMe page amongst your pals. The end of this campaign is in sight!

Thank you, again.

Jack x
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$9,500 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 80 people in 6 months
Created July 25, 2018
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JO
$245
Jack O'Keeffe
4 months ago (Offline Donation)
FG
$40
Fran Greenwood
4 months ago
$50
James Pham
4 months ago
AC
$50
Ali Cross
4 months ago
DO
$300
DJ & S O'Keeffe
4 months ago (Offline Donation)
AD
$100
Andre DiBiagio
4 months ago
CF
$50
Carol Frampton
4 months ago
$150
Ben O'Keeffe
4 months ago
LL
$30
Liviana Leonardi
5 months ago
JW
$500
Jake Webb
5 months ago
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