We at the Fragile X Society are as grateful to Lewis Ross as his family and friends are proud of him for taking on a sponsored swimming challenge which ended up raising £1,150 for the Society.
One day (Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness) Lewis was at a Disability Youth Club that his main carer, Mo Hussain, runs in Sussex, and he noticed a fundraising event at which cupcakes baked by a volunteer who suffers from severe epilepsy were being sold. Lewis said to Mo, “I would like to raise money, for The Fragile X Society”, and that planted the seed in Mo’s head.
Mo organised with Lewis’ local leisure centre the logistics of holding a swim-a-thon which Lewis then went ahead and raised lots of money in sponsorship for. Lewis has gone in the space of four years from having no motivation to swim with any particular purpose to making huge improvements in his swimming ability and now stretching himself even further with this swim-a-thon.
Lewis is 25 and has combined learning disability and autism. In the run-up to the swim he was anxious and his family and friends all think he is amazing for overcoming this to successfully complete the swim.
One factor in Lewis raising so much sponsorship money was his infectious personality. Everyone who knows him wanted to show their support and he even drove quite a hard bargain. When people asked how much they should sponsor him for, he would suggest, “Give us fifty quid!”
Lewis has done something truly amazing in showing what can be done with an inspired idea, belief in himself and the support of family and friends. We are super thankful to Lewis for using his skills and popularity for the benefit of The Fragile X Society, and we wish him well as he continues to become a stronger and stronger swimmer.