- Keanan was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 7
- However, he is passionate about sports and is a goalkeeper
- He is set to represent Western Cape at a national championship in March
A 15-year-old boy in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, is determined to pursue his dream as a soccer goalkeeper despite having the motor neuron disease.
Briefly.co.za learned that Keanan de Long was diagnosed with the condition at the age of seven. His determination saw him emerging as the top differently abled goalkeeper in Western Cape.
He is now set to represent his province at the 2018 South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired (SASAPD) national championships in Bloemfontein in March.
However, his parents have to raise R5,000 for the trip. His dad, 65-year-old Vernon, told Daily Voice:
We live on my pension and Keanan’s grant. We don’t have the R5,000 to send him and he is so excited. He also needs a tracksuit which costs R450, new gloves, T-shirts, togs and a tog bag.
Keanan's mom, Dorinda, described how their lives were turned upside down when he was diagnosed:
His arms and leg shake uncontrollably. He cannot eat with a fork. He uses a spoon and drinks from a straw. He struggles with speech, too.
They also had to take him to a special needs school after his schoolmates began bullying him.
However, the two parents are proud of Keanan and his achievement. Vernon said:
When they train on Saturdays, I run alongside him so he does not give up. He can do whatever he puts his mind to; look at what he is doing now.
If you'd like to help Keanan, contact Vernon on 063 128 4961.
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