Sunderland lad with rare health condition selected for Special Olympics Team GB football side
An inspirational Sunderland man diagnosed with one of the rarest health conditions in the world needs Wearsiders' help to realise his dream of playing football for his country in the Special Olympics.
Liam Lister, 21, has KBG syndrome, which affects several body systems including sight, hearing, learning difficulties and more.
Common signs and symptoms in individuals with the condition include unusual facial features, skeletal abnormalities, and intellectual disability.
Determined Liam, a former Portland Academy pupil, has never let his condition get in the way of living a full life.
Despite all of his health problems he has thrown himself into his love of football since being a boy wih the full support of mum June, 57, dad Tony, 49, and sister Donna.
Last year, Liam, of Hylton Castle, was selected to represent the Northern Region and took part in competing against other regions in Sheffield to come away with a gold medal.
He has now been selected for the Team GB Special Olympics football team, who are due to compete in the World Summer Abu Dhabi in March next year.
Liam’s loving sister Donna Weiss, 36, said: “He’s worked so hard over the years so Liam really deserves this.
“After he was part of the team that won in Sheffield, he didn’t think in a million years that he’d have a chance of getting into the Team GB side.
“When the email dropped into the inbox to say he had been chosen for the team, as a family we could have flooded the Sahara Desert with tears of pride.”
Unfortunately for Liam and his family, disability teams are not funded, meaning he has to raise cash towards his own costs.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to generate the money, with almost £350 brought in so far towards the £2,500 total.
Any money donated once the target is reached will help to get Tony over Dubai with him for the competition.
Donna, herself a football coach added: “My brother is an absolute inspiration to other kids out there to never give up.
“He knows there is a lot of hard work ahead of him because he’s going to have to raise his fitness for the hot conditions when he’s in Dubai.”
Kind Liam at one stage even completed a wheelchair handler course so that he could help transport fellow pupils at Portland around.
Donna said: “After so many years of being told ‘no’ when he’s tried to be part of things, it’s out of this world now that he’s been told ‘yes’.”
To donate towards Liam’s appeal go to www.gofundme.com/world-games-2019