Games whizz Ryan Skinner is celebrating the arrival of a bespoke computer thanks to Round Table Children’s Wish.
The charity provides hand-crafted wishes to youngsters with life-limiting conditions to add a little joy and sparkle to their lives.
Ryan, from Moordown, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive condition which gradually takes the use of all his muscles.
Computer gaming is an area where Ryan, 19, can have the same experience as every other fan. Previously he played Call of Duty on his Xbox but wanted to progress.
Dad Jason explained: “Until he was about 11 Ryan could, although it was a struggle, do all the things you’d expect like ride a bike and play football… but since then he’s been confined to a chair. He used to enjoy power chair football, but as it’s an indoor team sport Covid has taken that away for now.
“He loves computer games – in particular Call of Duty – and that’s a world in which he can be equal to everyone else playing the game.
“When Round Table Children’s Wish offered him the amazing chance of a wish it took a while for us to work out what he actually needed – and for me to understand it all!
“Originally, I thought he wanted to do vlogging when he actually wanted to do live streaming, a completely different thing where a community of gamers watch each other playing computer games – and some of them even make a career out of it.”
So, once wish co-ordinator Cathy White from Round Table Children’s Wish – with the help of Ryan’s older brother Rory – had sorted out what he actually needed for the next stage of his computer gaming the charity got to work making the wish come true.
And what arrived was exactly what Ryan wanted.
Jason said: “It’s an incredible piece of kit – an all-singing, all-dancing desktop computer and monitor capable of doing everything Ryan wants it to do, completely bespoke to him.
“It arrived in a huge box. Ryan just couldn’t believe it could be for him, he was so surprised and excited, absolutely over the moon.
“When you have a disabled child the costs of anything are so high. You always think there are things you’d dearly like to give him, but finding the funds to do that when you also need to fund other necessary things, it’s such a juggling act.
“Round Table Children’s Wish have done an amazing thing for him. Their wishes make all of the difference to the family and to the child – we never thought anyone would do something like this for us and it’s hard to put our thanks into words.”
Ryan’s condition affects all his muscles, including his heart, and he is currently waiting for an operation to fit a defibrillator. He lives at home with Jason, mum Karen and Rory who, when he has the free time, is also a keen gamer.
Jason said: “The brothers are very close, as long as they’re playing as a team on the computer. If they’re playing against each other then brotherhood and friendship disappears.
“They do try to involve me in the computer games but the only time I tried it I sat there with the controller, waited – and then the game was over. Too many buttons!”
Over the last 30 years Round Table Children’s Wish has helped make wishes come true for many youngsters aged four to 17 and their families all over the country.
Wish co-ordinator Cathy said: “We’re thrilled that Ryan is so happy with his computer – it’s always a pleasure to make wishes come true. Ryan was 17 when we were first introduced to him so it’s taken a little while but we managed to get him exactly what he needed.
“Our work for young people like him is only possible through the generosity of people who give their time to fundraising for us and we’re so grateful when their donations result in gifts like Ryan’s.”
You can learn more about the work of Round Table Children’s Wish at www.rtcw.org.
Note to reporters
Round Table Children’s wish is a national charity which grants hand-crafted wishes to children aged four to 17 with life-threatening illnesses.
Round Table Children’s Wish,
14 Alder Hills,
Tel: 01202 514515
Media information: Debbie Moore, Deep South Media on 01202 534487. Email: Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org