A local student born with Spina Bifida has been backed by the Northam Lions Club to attend an awards day for other children with special needs.
Children of Courage was introduced in 1983 by a past District Governor who saw the need to provide an award program through which Lions Clubs in Western Australia could recognise a very special group of young West Australians and their families.
This award is for those young children with special needs.
Children of Courage is not a competition - every nominated child who is sponsored by a Lions Club receives an award.
A day in May was organised for 38 young children to attend an award day and make new friends who are experiencing life with many obstacles.
Ryan is a very special young boy who was born with Spina Bifida and has shown strength and determination. He has acted so bravely from the beginning of his life and certainly is an outstanding participant when we talk about children of courage.
His life of continuing challenges with his health, from the day he was born, and his ongoing surgeries to place rods into his back to straighten his spine, is an inspiration to others that life can continue whatever the hurdles.
Ryan's family have been there at every corner to continue supporting him.
At the age of four, it was suggested that Ryan attend a special needs school, but with Ryan's spirit and his mum's strength and discussions with the local school, he attended Bakers Hill Primary school in his wheelchair and quickly made friends.
Ryan was not expected to walk until he was 10 or 11, but again determination, strength and with his family supporting him, Ryan took this task to hand, and was walking in a special K frame by the age of seven.
This was a very big surprise to many of the medical staff that watched Ryan's progress.
Ryan has participated in many fundraisers for the foundation he held at school, called "Wear a Bear Day", has helped with raising funds for "Give Me Five For Kids", and today continues to put himself out there to help many others who -he says, is less fortunate than he.
Ryan is an amazing young man who is very strong and brave, and has worked very hard to show others what he can achieve by helping, both children and adults.
The Northam Lions Club is so proud to have the opportunity to sponsor and meet him, and will continue to see Ryan and follow his amazing journey - he certainly is an inspiration to all.
El Rewell is from Northam Lions Club.