PM Teresa May writes letter to disabled Isle teen praising his outstanding achievements
Skydiving, climbing mountains and running road races would be testing for the fittest of people - but one disabled Isle teen is defying the odds and raising thousands of pounds for charity at the same time.
Jack Marshall, 17, of Belton was born with Moebius Syndrome, an extremely rare congenital neurological disorder which means he is unable to walk unaided and cannot smile.
But despite this he continues to undertaken massive challenges for charity, and this week Prime Minister Theresa May recognised his achievements by naming him Point of Light, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers.
Jack has raised tens of thousands of pounds for various charities through challenges including skydiving, completing the Great Ethiopian Run and even climbing Mount Snowdon.
He has also inspired others through his work with National Citizen Service and is their national Social Inclusion Manager. He is currently training to climb Ben Nevis in aid of blood cancer research charity, Bloodwise.
Jack is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
In a personal letter to Jack, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “From Africa’s biggest road race, to climbing Mount Snowdon, the tens of thousands of pounds you have raised for charity during your gruelling challenges have raised the profile of important causes. Through these efforts and your work with National Citizen Service you have inspired others. You should be enormously proud of your achievements.”
Jack said: “I am honoured to receive this award from the Prime Minister. I have been fundraising for 12 years and get so much satisfaction from knowing that I am making a difference to the lives of so many people. I don’t enjoy some of the physical tasks, in fact it hurts, but I am sponsored and nothing will stop me from completing my challenges and collecting my sponsorship money. I also get an amazing feeling of personal achievement when each quest is completed. I couldn’t do it on my own and thank everyone that helps me especially my sister Jaimie who is always by my side.”
Mum Linda said: “I have watched Jack over the past 12 years working tirelessly to help to improve the lives of people that he consider to be less fortunate than himself.
“He has matured into an incredible human being who openly admits that he doesn’t enjoy the challenges and confirms that it hurts him physically.
“It just shows his honesty and shows his determination and courage to complete his tasks. I don’t think that there is anything that he couldn’t do once sets his mind to something.
“I am just so proud of him.”