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New wheelchair allowed Eldercare resident to join fun run

Eldercare Oxford resident Ian North is celebrating after successfully completing his first 6km City to Bay Fun Run event.

Ian, who has cerebral palsy, was able to participate with the help of a new automatic wheelchair and Eldercare carers Marc Steinkritzer and Scott Hoffmann who volunteered their time to accompany Ian from start to finish.

Ian’s achievement was made all the more memorable when he rose from his wheelchair 10 metres from the end and used his walker to cross the finish line at Glenelg in a display of perseverance and drive.

Ian trained for two months before the event by walking up and down the corridors at Oxford to make sure he was ready for his big finale.

Ian said it was ‘great’ to cross the finish line and intends to take part in next year’s City to Bay.

Oxford Wellness Assistant Marc Steinkritzer said Ian’s new automatic wheelchair is enabling him to explore more of the world and he is planning a holiday to the Gold Coast in January.

“It was a triumphant moment when Ian crossed the finish line,” said Marc.

“I’m a huge advocate for active ageing so when I heard that Ian wanted to do the City to Bay, I said ‘let’s do it!’”

“I’m very humbled by Ian’s dedication and it was a privilege for Scott and I to be by his side.”

Oxford Site Operations Manager Ryan Midgley said Ian’s participation in the City to Bay demonstrated Eldercare’s commitment to supporting the mind, body and spirit of every individual.

“Ian had a goal he wanted to achieve after receiving his new wheelchair and we helped him realise it,” said Ryan.

“It was a great team effort by the staff at Oxford who supported Ian all the way helping with registrations, pre-event training and walking with him on the day.

“Stories like Ian’s go to the heart of what we do at Eldercare – by working in partnership with our residents, and making their wellbeing our priority, we can achieve remarkable things together.”

Eldercare worked closely with healthcare equipment supplier Aidacare to design and manufacture Ian’s custom chair.

“Loreine from Aidacare visited Ian five times during the process to make sure Ian got exactly what he wanted,” said Ryan.

“Ian’s regular remedial massages are more relaxing as he can now lie flat in his chair and the ‘lifting’ function means moving from his chair to his walker is much easier.

“Ian’s new chair is giving him valuable independence so he can be more actively involved in life at Oxford and the wider community.”

View the gallery for photos from the day:

Image: Ian proudly wearing his City to Bay medal following the fun run.

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