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Adventurous disabled man's appeal for motorised wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:09 02 July 2010

Martin Symons

Martin Symons

Sam Emanuel

An adventurous disabled man who suffers from a condition that makes it painful to move is urging people to help with the cost of a special motorised wheelchair so he can continue his intrepid exploits around the world to raise money for charity.

An adventurous disabled man who suffers from a condition that makes it painful to move is urging people to help with the cost of a special motorised wheelchair so he can continue his intrepid exploits around the world to raise money for charity.

Martin Symons, 43, has a rare condition called Klippel Feil Syndrome which results in skeletal abnormalities, including a short neck, a bent spine and short limbs, as well as problems with his heart and bone marrow.

But although he can barely walk 50 metres and needs to spend eight hours a day on a ventilator to stay alive, he has raised thousands of pounds for charity by reaching the top of Ben Nevis and Snowdon, canoeing down the Rio Miño in Spain and completing a 100-mile trek along Hadrian's Wall.

For the majority of his adventures, he has borrowed a motorised wheelchair called a Boma, pronounced Bomber, but he is now appealing for help to buy his own, which would cost about £8,000.

Mr Symons, who lives in Springfields, Poringland, said: "If I had my own Boma, I would be able to do more challenges to raise money for charity - I am currently looking at the possibility of doing the Ring of Kerry, which is a circuit around southern Ireland which is about 130 miles long.

"It would also help me a lot day-to-day, because although a Boma is too wide to get in shops and use generally in the city, I would be able to get out and about more, and go out on cycle rides with my friends and things like that, whereas at the moment I have a manual wheelchair and have to rely on having someone to push me.

"Although it would be helping me in the short term, it would help other people in the long-term because I would use it to raise money for people who need it.

"If any local charities are interested in supporting my appeal, I would happily allow people there to use the Boma when I wasn't."

Ü Two of Mr Symons' friends, who live in Devon, are planning on cycling 1,200 miles from Holland to Denmark to raise money for Mr Symons' Boma, and can be sponsored by visiting martinsbomaappeal.webs.com.

Ü To contact Mr Symons, email martin.symons1@btinternet.com.

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