Scunthorpe polio victim, 70, helps charity with inspiring talks
A wheelchair-bound Scunthorpe man is hoping to inspire others with a disability by giving talks around North Lincolnshire.
Tony Scrase-Walters, 70, of Mary Sumner Way, Scunthorpe wanted to do something memorable for his 70th birthday so decided to get fit and raise some funds for charity.
After being paralysed from the waist down at the age of eight due to polio, Tony has been left as a wheelchair user.
He also has a lung disorder which affects his breathing – but he decided not to let this stop him.
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Tony said: "Unfortunately we all cannot fit into the healthier statement because a lot of us as we get a little older or become disabled often think to ourselves that we cannot do exercise.
"However, I go to the gym three times a week to keep myself fit enough so that I can do wheelchair and hand cycle runs to raise money for charities and also to be able to run faster than the grim reaper."
Tony completed the Leeds 10k race on July 8 and raised £350 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
He said: "Medical research has proved that if we take responsibility for our own health by keeping fit, we reap benefits.
"As well as being a little older, I am a polio victim and have a stomach complaint. I tailor my exercise programme to suit my abilities, not my disabilities."
With support from Alan Rayment, a local disabled athlete, he has increased his physical abilities massively.
Tony plans to take part in a 20k wheelchair race and eventually the London Marathon in the future.
However, due to a very recent scare, these plans may have to be put on hold.
Instead, he hopes to inspire other wheelchair users by providing help and talks to anyone who asks.
Tony said: "I see exercise as improving my chance of fighting any disease and hope this latest illness will not stop me.
"Before you take part in exercise, always get the okay from your GP.
"No problems or challenges are a barrier. Most can be solved if you are serious and determined enough to achieve your goals.
"Now is better than never and exercise will make a great difference to your life and maybe to others'."
NHS North Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire Council can offer plenty of help to disabled people wanting to start an exercise programme.
Health trainers are a completely free self-referral service aimed at those wanting to make a change in their lifestyle.
For more information, call 0845 4506712.
To contact Tony, e-mail email@example.com or call 07796 954144.