Wheels for Ryan fundraising brings heart-warming community spirit to the Upper North Shore.
Ten-year-old Sacred Heart student, Ryan Kim, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at the age of four when he began having trouble walking. The progressive genetic disease causes extreme muscle weakness and Ryan now needs a wheelchair all the time; however, the family’s car is not big enough to fit both Ryan’s electric wheelchair and his family, so the wheelchair stays at school every afternoon.
Although the government will convert an appropriate car to accommodate an electric wheelchair, the government cannot provide a larger car for the family. Without his electric wheelchair, outside of school, on weekends and school holidays, Ryan is limited to manual wheelchair activities. This is where the community stepped up to help.
As passionate supporters of our local community, our two branches are pleased to be assisting Wheels for Ryan, a community-led campaign raising money to help the Kim family buy a minivan to accommodate their four children and Ryan’s electric wheelchair.
We recently presented Wheels for Ryan with a cheque for $1,000, and our Wheels for Ryan donation drive continues with a commitment to donate $500 to the campaign for each new Bendigo Bank home or investment loan drawn down at either of our branches between now and the end of 2020. Just mention this offer and your wish to support Ryan. We also have special Wheels for Ryan Piggy money boxes for local businesses and individuals who would like to fundraise for the Kim family. Please get in touch if you would like a Piggy! Ryan’s face lit up when he met our giant Piggy mascot earlier this month.
The Community Spirit
Ryan’s mother, Soo, is overwhelmed by the show of community spirit for her family and extremely grateful for the support from Bendigo Bank and all the donors. The Kims are a family of six with limited financial resources and huge challenges. Holidays are few and far between and if they occur are at a caravan park a few hours away for a few days. The new minivan will make a big difference to Ryan’s life and greatly help his loving parents care for their son. Not only will Ryan’s ‘wheelie’ be able to come home each day giving him freedom and independence outside school, the large vehicle also means the Kims will be able to go on cherished outings together as a family, which they can’t do in their current car.
Unfortunately, as Ryan’s illness progresses, he is losing strength in his limbs, and his heart and respiratory muscles are becoming weaker. Sadly, the life expectancy of patients with DMD is greatly reduced.
We are touched by Ryan’s story and inspired by the courage of this young boy and his family. The Wheels for Ryan fundraising team have already raised $56,000 against their target of $75,000.
If you would like help, donations can be made online at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/233535/wheels-for-ryan