Step by step

I imagined so many scenes before visiting the children in Thailand who are supported by the IKEA Foundation and Special Olympics. I wondered about the suitable way to communicate with the Young Athletes. However, I was wrong. We just need a true heart and pure smile.

My teammate Eric giving a Young Athlete the thumbs-up. By Amy Choi.

We travelled to Khoen Kaen (a city in Thailand) to visit a Young Athlete’s family. I had no idea that this would affect me a lot. On is a six-year-old girl. She was diagnosed with septal defect, which makes her heart and lungs work harder and her lungs become congested. So, she needed to have a heart pacer fitted in her abdomen. She was also diagnosed with arrhythmia and Down’s syndrome. About two weeks before, she was hospitalised as a wire in her heart pacer was loosened.

However, On and her mother are receiving support from Special Olympics to help them deal positively with the situation. As a Young Athlete, On’s muscles become stronger and healthier. They are building a strong social network with their community through the Special Olympics.

Step by step. Photo by Amy Choi.

The professional trainer at Special Olympics has set up some simple equipment for training, so On can do some exercises at home. She is getting better and better from the first day. Sport is an effective way to help the Young Athletes to be healthier and happier. I felt something on my mind suddenly while I followed their steps. I realised they haven’t been limited by their situation. However, they are looking for the future by using sports, by the love between mother and daughter. It also made me consider what my attitude to life is. What is life? I think it is to make every day count.

    Shawn Chan