Rangers match ‘turned on another light in our Adam’

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/rangers-match-turned-another-light-16003211?fbclid=IwAR3aupccst9x4Oo65EQZUpeQsSbO5RunAnSdvlc3XRqSYDyoWmvayoDlJIg

An East Belfast dad has told how a surprise trip to see Rangers funded by the community ‘turned on a light’ in his ill son.

Adam Stevenson, 14, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The Belvoir estate lad is wheelchair-bound due to the muscle-wasting condition that has limited his life expectancy to his mid-20s.

The community in East Belfast raised money to take Adam and his family to see Rangers V Kilmarnock at the weekend.

Adam was joined by dad Gary, mum Beverley and brother Jake as they got a behind-the-scenes look at the training ground with Rangers legend Mark Hateley.

Gary and Adam

Gary, 53, told Belfast Live: “We’ve been on holiday before to Spain and we’ve been to Florida but this Rangers trip has just turned another light on for Adam. There’s just another level in his life that’s that’s just lit up that we didn’t think was there.

“There was something missing and whatever happened last weekend it switched another level of his life on.”

Donations towards the trip came from R.E.A.C.H, East Belfast Action for Community Transformation (ACT), Rangers supporters clubs from HW Welders, East Belfast Constitutional Club and Lagan Village along with the Union Jack Shop and East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band.

The game finished 1-1 but it was a trip the family won’t forget.

Gary said: “We were a good hour and a half at the training ground, watching the players train.

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“We met up with Morales which was incredible, we met all the staff and the two boys were just gobsmacked.

“Mark Hateley bent over backwards for us, he was like a family member and everything we wanted to see he showed us.

The family with footballer Alfredo Morelos

“The game itself was poor but at the same time just being there for Adam and Jake and seeing the crowds was outstanding.

“They couldn’t take it in. They’re still gob smacked, they couldn’t believe the size of the crowds.

“I don’t know what it was – they must have read the article on Belfast Live – because they were coming up and saying: “You’re the family from Belfast”. Everyone had the thumbs up – we were totally taken aback.

Adam all smiles

“And then people who did know us were saying how great it was to have us over.

“We had red carpet treatment the whole way through.”

  • Friends of the family are hosting an event at East Belfast Working Men’s Club on Friday night from 8pm to raise money for Adam. Entry is £3.

Can you help?

Can you help? Do you know anyone who fits the criteria below?

“I am currently Working as a Production Trainee with Double Band Films based in Belfast. We are doing some work on a proposal for BBC NI the details of which I have included bellow. Any help you or your members could offer would be greatly appreciated and any further questions or suggestions you may have can be answered by replying to this e-mail or contacting me at the number bellow or via my mobile 07849961686.

Kindest Regards,

Yers Aye,

Andy Mattison

(028)90 243331″

DoubleBand Films – migration project

DoubleBand Films are a Belfast-based documentary production company who make factual programmes for BBCNI, BBC4, and C4. Some of our recent productions include Dan Cruickshank’s Monuments to Remembrance (BBC4); Britain’s Ancient Tracks with Tony Robinson (C4), and Road, the story of the Dunlop road racing family (BBCNI).

The company are also a key producer of Ulster-Scots programmes for BBCNI, and have made successful and popular series such as Brave New World, with William Crawley, and The Band, a current series exploring the world of marching bands.

We are presently developing a new programme on the subject of migration between Ulster and Scotland, that would involve a teenage girl (over 18) from Northern Ireland embarking on a journey where she would explore her Scottish ancestry, in the company of a fellow young migrant living in Scotland.

In the course of the programme, our young contributor would discover the experience of her ancestors, who made the perilous journey from Scotland to Ulster in the late 1600s, and exploring the reasons why they left. In following in her ancestors footsteps, she’ll also find out what the Ulster landscape would have been like at that time, and discover how Scots migrants created settlements, and made new lives for themselves.

In experiencing and recreating life in late 17th Century, the programme would also see our young contributor, along with her Scottish counterpart, try their hands at activities that her ancestor would have relied on, and with the help of heritage experts they will work with animals, and create typical meals made by the settlers.

We are looking for a girl in her late teens (over 18), from an Ulster-Scots family in Northern Ireland, who would be interested in taking part in this unique project for BBCNI. They or their family do not need to be in the full knowledge of their family history, as we will be engaging with the Ulster Historical Foundation, who will assist us in the genealogical research.

amattison@doublebandfilms.com

Rangers tickets surprise for East Belfast lad with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/health/rangers-tickets-surprise-east-belfast-15969012?fbclid=IwAR2azoi8OyA8PIbNN-PqS0pXen_-dv9ByHkqslf3MXnQQPHX4UzThq-QCEw
The family together

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As one of just 65 people in Northern Ireland with a rare, life-limiting condition, Adam Stevenson’s parents know that his life will be short.

But the East Belfast family is determined to make his days memorable.

This weekend he will visit his heroes at Rangers FC after the community came together to raise the money.

The 14-year-old from the Belvoir estate has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a muscle-wasting condition that limits his life expectancy to his mid-20s.

Dad Gary, 53, told Belfast Live: “We found out he had it back in 2009. Adam kept falling over. So we took him to the hospital, they ran a lot of tests and they came back with long faces. They told us he’d Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We said, ‘OK, well how do we deal with that?’.ADVERTISING

“They told us there was no cure for it, his life expectancy is in his mid-20s. We just fell apart, we couldn’t understand. The life-expectancy just took us apart.”

Adam, who is wheelchair-bound, lives with his younger brother Jake, 12, mum Beverley, 48, and dad Gary, 53.

He is especially close with Jake.

Gary added: “They’re right close to each other. If Adam drops anything he would go in and lift it for him.

“They love each other – and fight like normal brothers.

“Jake knows that it’s got worse – but he said, ‘Dad, I’ll do everything I can to help’.”

Adam’s condition continues to get worse and his family is determined to fulfill a number of his dreams.

Adam, left, and brother Jake

Gary said: “It’s getting worse every day. All his muscles are dying. His heart is dying. There is no cure and there is nothing we can do – we’re just at our wit’s end.

“We know the next 10 years aren’t going to be nice.

“He has some dreams for his life. He wanted to go see Rangers, he wanted to go see Chelsea and he wanted to have a cruise.”

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The family was approached by Jim Wilson from R.E.A.C.H and the wheels were put in motion for a dream trip to see Rangers v Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Gary added: “Up to two weeks ago, we knew nothing. A family member was approached by Jim Wilson who asked if there was anything he could do.

“Jim got all the community involved and he has made one of his dreams come true.

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“The clubs throughout East Belfast that have helped are brilliant – it’s come as such a big surprise.

“To get to see Rangers, to meet the players – it’s like Christmas Eve. We can’t thank enough those who have been involved in making this happen.

“His excitement is beyond words, he’s overwhelmed and we’re so happy that we have this opportunity.

Click to play

“This is the best thing that has ever helped Adam, he’s just on cloud nine.”

Donations towards the trip came from R.E.A.C.H, East Belfast Action for Community Transformation (ACT), Rangers supporters clubs from HW Welders, East Belfast Constitutional Club and Lagan Village along with the Union Jack Shop and East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band.

R.E.A.C.H Chairman Jim Wilson said: “I’d like to personally thank the groups who came together to raise over £1000 to make this possible along with the staff at Stena Line.

“There is a strong community ethos in East Belfast and we are delighted to send the family across to make special memories with Adam and his brother Jake.”

Last word

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000300k

Matthew Bannister on our friend and patron Ian Adamson OBE.

Last Word spoke to Wesley Hutchinson, Professor Emeritus of Irish Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle, and Helen Brooker, director of Pretani Associates.

The show also includes Seychelles President Albert Rene, mathematician Simon Norton, campaigner Belle Tutaev, historian and singer Keith Flint.

Grafton

East Belfast Groups help Adam fulfil his dream.

Young Adam Stevenson will be living his dream this weekend when he meets his idols at Glasgow Rangers. Adam suffers from a life limiting, muscle wasting disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, of which there are only 65 known cases in Northern Ireland. The disease only affects young boys with their life expectancy being around no more than their mid-20s.

Adam, who is wheelchair bound will travel to his first Rangers game this weekend against Kilmarnock and will spend Friday morning meeting the players at their training facility in Glasgow. Adam’s Dad Gary tells us “the family are absolutely overwhelmed by the generous donations from R.E.A.C.H, East Belfast Action for Community Transformation (ACT), Rangers supporters clubs from HW Welders, East Belfast Constitutional Club and Lagan Village along with the Union Jack Shop and East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band. These groups have all rallied to make Adams dream come true and we cannot thank them enough”.

R.E.A.C.H Chairman Jim Wilson said “Id like to personally thank the groups who came together to raise over £1000 to make this possible along with the staff at Stena Line. There is a strong community ethos in East Belfast and we are delighted to send the family across to make special memories with Adam and his brother Jake”.

Picture – Adam Stevenson receiving his tickets and itinerary from Robert McCartney (East Belfast ACT). Also pictured is Gary Stevenson, Ernie Devlin and Maureen Wilson (REACH), Jake Stevenson, Beverley Stevenson, John Williamson (HW Welders RSC)

www.reachproject.co.ukEast Belfast Protestant BoysEast Belfast ACT InitiativeJohnEast Belfast Constitutional Club

Matthew Bannister on our friend and patron Ian Adamson OBE

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000300k

Last Word spoke to Wesley Hutchinson, Professor Emeritus of Irish Studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle, and Helen Brooker, director of Pretani Associates.

The show also includes Seychelles President Albert Rene, mathematician Simon Norton, campaigner Belle Tutaev, historian and singer Keith Flint.

History Ireland – Tartan Gangs

RBL motorbike ride past

On Sunday 10th members of our group attended the annual RBL motorbike ride past and wreath laying service in Antrim.

The service marked one of the final events planned over the weekend on the 10 year anniversary after the brutal terrorist attack at Masserene Barracks on the Randalstown Road in Antrim which claimed the lives of sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar.

Their names will be forever remembered. Lest we forget

Three Scottish Soldiers Mural

This afternoon members of our group attended the unveiling of a new mural in the Rathcoole Estate, Co Antrim in remembrance of the Three Scottish Soldiers.

Today, March 10, marks 48 years since brothers John (17) and Joseph McCaig (18) from Ayr and Dougald McCaughey (23) from Glasgow, became the first soldiers killed while off duty during the Troubles.

All three were Privates serving with the 1st Battalion -The Royal Highland Fusiliers, stationed at Girdwood barracks in Belfast.

The three soldiers having been granted leave, had been enjoying a social drink together in Belfast City Centre, unarmed and in civilian clothing.

It is widely believed the young men were enticed by a number of Republican females with the promise of a party. They were taken to White Brae, North Belfast were they murdered by the Provisional IRA. The three had been shot at close range and were rumoured to be in a line. After failing to report back at 18:30 their bodies had been found by a group of children at 19:30.

The coroner at the time of the inquest into their murders in August 1971 commented: “You may think that this was not only murder, but one of the vilest crimes ever heard of in living memory”.

Sadly, two existing Memorials erected in memory of the soldiers have been attacked more than 25 times since 2010 by Republicans.

Well done to the organisers – Lest we forget.