Jordan conquers the Sky Tower to donate a rugged wheelchair
By Unumoe Esera
APIA: Friday 21st June 2012: Jordan Milroy, a 23 year old male who has cerebal palsy donated a rugged wheelchair to Senese
Inclusive Education and Support Services and Nuanua o le Alofa today.
This rugged wheelchair was purchased from proceeds of Jordan’s “Climb for Awareness” fundraising climb at the Sky City Tower and Bungee Jump on the 17th April this year in Auckland New Zealand.
” Its a special day for me coming back to my own home country and donating a wheelchair I fundraised for. I came up with the idea to climb the Sky City Tower in Auckland as I wanted to show that disable people can achieve their goals,” said Jordan.
He says it was also to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities.
“Most people look at me with pity. I wanted to prove them wrong,” he said.
Jordan’s donation was based on the terrain and type of wheelchairs used in Samoa.
“I saw a need for wheelchairs as the roads here are not really good, I found a wheelchair on the internet and bought one for Samoa
and present it to Senese and hopefully get more people to go out in the community,” he said.
The Vice Chairman of Nuanua o le Alofa, Nofovaleane Maposua expressed gratitude for the donation.
” Thank you Jordan for fundraising for this wonderful donation. Climbing 1029 steps is not an easy task.This wheelchair is suitable as the roads here are rough not smooth, You have been a friend to Nuanua o le Alofa for so long and have been quite supportive of your brothers and sisters who also face the same challenges you do,” said Nofo.
He also praised Jordan’s climb at he Sky Tower: “From my perspective,what Jordan has achieved is quite important. Most of us with disabilites are often discouraged by what people say to us. It causes doubt and fear in our minds when we know that we are quite capable of doing some things an able bodied person can also do,” he said.
Director of Senese Inclusive Education and Support Services Donna Lene also acknowledged Jordan’s efforts.
“It’s a great pleasure to see the results of Jordan’s fundraising.The question I have in mind is what motivates someone to climb 1029 steps and jump off a building? What you have done is all from the heart. You are aware of how difficult it is for someone in a
wheelchair to get around. I’d like to congratulate and applaud you for your efforts,” she said
Donna also stated that Jordan is a role model and an inspiration to many of their students and everyone.Senese student Toshin Toetu Brown from Afega was originally chosen to be the recipient of the rugged wheelchair but because of his size the chair is not suitable for him as it has a big frame.
“A lot of wheelchairs are donated but are not suitable for Samoa. This is the first wheelchair like this to come in to Samoa. It is solid and made for people in the villages,” she said.
She also said that she is anticipating Jordan’s next challenge where he is set to climb the Eureka Tower in Melbourne in November
which has 1880 steps and after that the Empire State building in New York in February next year.
Donna also hopes that the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) will be signed by Samoa by the end of this
year. She said this is something Senese feels strongly about and that if it comes through the Government will be able to provide
resources such as wheelchairs.
Asked whether Senese would seek funding to provide more rugged wheelchairs to Samoa.
“We have short term and long term strategies in place. The short term plan is to provide wheelchairs for children to be able to go to school, Providing a wheelchair that is not suitable to the person using it can lead to further disability and even death. The rugged wheelchair must be fitted. The long term plan is for the National Health Services to develop a prosthesis and orthotics center which is fully equipped with devices and also use the convention (if ratified) to gain expertise to set up the service and bring it up to International standard,” she said.
Jordan Milroy hails form the villages of Moto’otua and Lufilufi. He is a University student studying Social Science at Auckland’s
University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. He completed his primary and secondary studies in Samoa. He was also educated at Senese in 1995 before moving to New Zealand in 2008 to finish his last three years of college.
“I felt good and excited. The climb was easy as I live in the city and practiced everyday but it was my first time bungee jumping and I was scared,” said Jordan when asked to describe how he felt after the climb.
Jordan was also asked whether the feat was the hardest thing he had done in his life.
“If you put your mind to it, it doesn’t seem hard. I trained a lot. One thousand eight hundred steps now that’s harder,” he said of his
He said that he raised $8000 tala from his climb up the Sky City Tower which he completed within half an hour. Jordan estimated that four rugged wheelchairs could be bought with the money he raised. He said that the rugged wheelchairs were made in Indonesia and made by those with disabilites.
He also challenged others to attempt what he had achieved. “I give out a challenge to anyone. It doesnt have to be the same as
mine, you set yourself a goal and you can do it. It’s easy, ” he said.
His plans after graduating from University is to help out and hopefully work at Nuanua o le Alofa in the future. ” There are lots of
opportunities for people with disabilities all around the world.” he said.
Asked whether there was ever a time where he though he might not be able to do something.
“When people say why are you doing that? when they say you cant do it. You have to reflect and get over that,” he said.
Jordan in his written proposal stated that the rugged wheelchair is on trial at the moment and the results from the evaluation will
determine whether more wheelchairs will be brought into Samoa. A period of three weeks is given to each organisation and three to five users will use the wheelchair and a written statement of the pros and cons of the rugged wheelchair will be listed to see whether it is to be recommended over the standard wheelchair.
If the wheelchair is of use a list of suitable recipients will be submitted by organisations in order to decide which person will benefit the most from this wheelchair. The wheelchair would be used by the person unless not needed and would then be passed on to someone else. It is also up to the family or caregiver of the recipient’s responsibility to keep the wheelchair in good condition and use it in an appropriate manner.
The Rugged Wheelchairs Company has also agreed to match the money Jordan has raised and eight wheelchairs could be donated