When Brittany McCormick was born prematurely at 25 weeks, her parents, Anthea and Hadley, were told it would take nothing less than a miracle for her to live past her 18th birthday.

Brittany was diagnosed with cerebral palsy quadriplegia of high muscle tone, a condition that causes tight muscles and stiff or rigid movements.

Her parents were told she’d never be able to walk.

But against all the odds, Brittany (25) not only learnt to walk, she’s walked 100km to raise funds for the Paarl School for kids with disabilities in Brackenfell, Cape Town, so it can buy wheelchairs and other necessities for its pupils.

Brittany McCormick

“As a young teen I knew I wanted to make an impact on lives and make a difference for people, and years later I got the opportunity to do so.”

For Brittany that opportunity presented itself when her wheelchair needed to go in for repairs and she was without it for two weeks.

“I felt helpless. I can walk with help, but without some help I can’t walk at all. Not having my wheelchair for two weeks was a wake-up call for me, and it made me think about how tough it must be for people who can’t afford wheelchairs, or who can’t afford to have them fixed.

“That’s when the idea of a fundraiser came into my heart, and I decided I’d do something,”

She originally set herself the target of walking 100km in six months and to raise R80 000 for the school through crowdfunding on Backabuddy.

With the help of a treadmill, Brittany covered a distance of 100km in a little more than three months, at 1km a day, struggling through bouts of flu, food poisoning and cramps.

“At the beginning, I felt sore in places I’d never felt sore before. My body, week one, was like, ‘What’s happening?’

Doing the fundraiser was also her way of proving to herself that she’s able.

Brittany McCormick

Taking her project public added pressure as a lot of people were following her journey.

“It was also a blessing because I knew God was using me to show other people that you do have ability. It might be different, but you have it,” she says.

Her family also cheered her on, and their support was unbelievable, she said.

So far, Brittany has beaten her 100km target and walked 117,77km, raising R56 000 in the process.

When she’s not fundraising, Brittany works as a motivational speaker at schools and companies.

“I speak on ability, not disability. Basically I use my life story to teach people what their inner abilities are and what they believe they can be.

“It’s important for disabled children to know that no matter what, they can do something with their lives and achieve their goals. 

“It might take years, but they’ll achieve it.”

“You really have to find the mental strength and the emotional strength to overcome that barrier. When I was struggling, I went into prayer mode and asked the Lord to give me supernatural strength.”

source: news24

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