Going for gold: Superhero Shropshire youngster teams up with Paralympians
A young superhero from Shropshire has been chosen to partner two Paralympic gold medallists at the 2019 Superhero series – billed as the UK’s only disability sports series for the everyday superhero.
Tom McIntyre will be taking part in the Superhero Tri with Menna Fitzpatrick and Jen Kehoe, the team that won gold in the visually-impaired slalom at the 2018’s Winter Paralympics in South Korea.
The seven-year-old, of Bourton, near Much Wenlock, is also fundraising on behalf of two Shropshire hospital trusts.
The race takes place on August 17 and aims to create fun, full-throttle mass-participation challenges where people with disabilities call the shots and don’t have to worry about cut-off times or equipment restrictions.
Tom was born with a rare condition called Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD) which means that his right femur is not growing correctly.
At the age of one he had his foot and ankle amputated to enable him to have a prosthetic fitted and when he was four he had part of his femur removed and his hip reconstructed.
Speaking about the race, Tom said: “I’m very excited to be running on a team again.
"The Superhero Series is one of my favourite things to do and I love going.
“I’m a bit nervous about being interviewed for the television, but I remember being filmed last year and I loved it because I got to meet Jonnie Peacock for a second time.”
Tom’s mum Caroline, who works at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, said: “Anyone who knows me knows that I am enormously proud of Tom.
"My heart bursts with pride that he has been chosen to partner the fantastic Jennifer Kehoe and Menna Fitzpatrick at this year’s Superhero Tri.
“Tom has never let his disability stop him, and, from starting at tumble tots when he was 18 months, he is sports mad.
"Tom now regularly plays tennis, cricket, football, multi-skills and gymnastics as well as trying lots of other sports."
This year Tom is raising money for the SaTH End of Life Care Swan Fund and The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH).
Caroline added: “It is 10 years this year since my father passed away at SaTH, and the care and dignity the staff showed him in his final hours made his passing so much easier.
“Tom has been cared for at RJAH since birth and the fantastic Mr Kiely and his team have performed all his surgeries and recuperation.”
To donate to SaTH’s End of Life Care Swan Fund visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Caroline-McIntyre6
To donate to RJAH, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Caroline-McIntyre5