Sprott Shaw College students and philanthropist Phil Nealy (bottom row right) raised $3

Sprott Shaw College students help local quadriplegic purchase new cycle

Faculty and students at Sprott Shaw College have made a big difference in the life of a local quadriplegic.

Faculty and students at Sprott Shaw College have made a big difference in the life of a local quadriplegic.

Phil Nealy, a counsellor with Sprott Shaw College’s Victoria campus, and roughly a dozens students helped raise more than $3,200 to donate to Fairfield’s Shaun Kennett to help him purchase a new hand cycle device to help him recover from recent surgery.

“I was amazed to see people I did not even know put on this fundraiser for me,” said Kennett. “The efforts of the volunteers and the generosity of the donors are appreciated. I feel very lucky and honoured that anyone would do this for me.”

Kennett was born with spina bifida, a permanently disabling birth defect that occurs when a baby is in the womb and the spinal column doesn’t close all the way. He recently had surgery to remove cancerous tumours from his lower back, but the new device was not covered under his health care plan.

Nealy, a fellow quadriplegic, sprang into action when he heard of Kennett’s issue.

“Shaun works part time for B.C. Ambulance, he doesn’t qualify for benefits from them, he doesn’t meet the needs test for provincial assistance either and I thought that’s just wrong,” said Nealy. “The hand cycle costs over $3,200 to purchase, so he’s basically being penalized for working.”

Nealy, along with several students and staff, put on a car wash and barbecue at Dave Wheaton Pontiac recently, raising roughly $1,500.

Then, a local anonymous philanthropist heard about the cause and contributed the remaining $1,700 needed to purchase the device, that will allow Kennett to exercise.

“The tumour that I had caused me to gain weight and I was not allowed to exercise. Now that the tumour has been removed, the doctor wants me to exercise to assist with weight loss,” said Kennett.

“I cannot transfer to a regular hand cycle and this bike attaches to the front of my wheelchair to make it easier for me to use independently. The power assist will help me with steep hills as I get in shape.”

This isn’t the first time Nealy has raised money for a worthy cause. He’s also organized fundraisers for diabetes, epilepsy, the Heart and Stroke foundation and other initiatives.

“I feel very fortunate. I broke my neck in four places 27 years ago and I was told I would never move again. I have regained enough movement to remain independent,” he said. “I have tremendous empathy, for people like Shaun who I believe have fallen through the cracks and for me, it’s a true pleasure to give.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read