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Posted on: 20 Jul 

A unique invention has transformed a County Down teenagerís life: Allowing him to take part in running events, even though he canít walk

He has never been able to walk, but teenager Aaron Kerr is fast becoming one of the most popular participants in running events across Northern Ireland. The 17-year-old is the first person in Europe to take delivery of a unique invention which, for some time, has been transforming the quality of life of disabled people in America – the Hoyt Running Chair.

Pushed by his dad David and with mum Sandra running alongside, Team Kerr have become a familiar sight along local highways and byways in recent months as they train and take part in running events across the country.
For the teenager, from Annahilt, Co Down, whose life has been severely restricted by complex special needs, the simple freedom of being able to take up a sport, with the added bonus of sharing it with his parents, has transformed the quality of his life.

Passers-by can’t help but get caught up in the family’s joy as a beaming Aaron whizzes by, his excitement clear for all to see in his happy face.

Dad David explains what it has meant for all the family since they first took delivery of the chair following a fundraising campaign last year: “We are now able to spend quality time together as a family, while staying fit and meeting some wonderful people along the way.

“Before, during and after our runs we get handshakes, high fives, shout-outs and congratulations. We have been told that we are an inspirational family. We have met and continue to meet so many wonderful people. We have visited some fantastic places and experienced things we never thought possible.

“All of those are very good reasons and we are immensely grateful for them all, but there is one overriding factor in all of this that pushes us on, that makes us finish that final mile or get over that last hill.
“Although he might not always show it, and can find it hard to express his feelings, we as parents know that inside, our son is at his happiest with the wind in his hair and the sun on his face.”