Charley Way is a 14-year-old teenager who suffers from brittle asthma. It is a symptom that causes recurrent severe attacks. In October last year, Charley was nominated for a Dreamflight and the Poole teenager ended up spending a total of 10 days enjoying the various theme parks and attractions of Florida. This once in a lifetime opportunity has made him want to help others to enjoy the same thing.
The youngster intends to go for a sponsored swim at the Everyone Active Dolphin Pool in February this year. He is hoping to raise as much money as he can to aid other youngsters in fulfilling their wishes with a Dreamflight. “It changed my life for the better. It made me think although I have asthma, I can still do things other people wouldn’t think I could do,” said the boy from Oakdale, California.
He mentioned that the highlight for the action-packed trip was when he got to swim with dolphins as well as getting into the water along with stingrays and other fish, where he was even able to view sharks in the next door tank. One of his favourite trips was to Universal Studios, where he managed to make new friends among the 191 other youngsters on the flight. At the same time, he was able to assist the less able and those who were in wheelchairs.
He was inspired to do a sponsored swim after he met Liz Johnson, a Paralympian who has cerebral palsy. Despite her condition, she was able to claim gold in the Beijing 2008 Olympics for breaststroke and a bronze at the more recent, London 2012 Olympics for backstroke. “I feel like I have to give something back. I want to give something back,” explained Charley, who will only be 15 years of age when he does the charity swim on Saturday, February 9 at 6pm.
His aim is to complete a total of 192 lengths within three hours, one for each child on a Dreamflight. He hopes to raise £1,920 as the trip for every child costs £3,500. However, no family has to pay a single cent. “It should be fun. It’s a good cause and we want people to come down and cheer him on – they could even jump in and do a few lengths themselves,” stated Tracy, the proud mother of Charley. For the full story, check it out here.