10 Years of the Trust: Harvey’s Journey
As part of our ‘10 Years of the Community Trust’ campaign, which is celebrating the successes our official charity has achieved over the years, we are sharing stories and exclusive interviews from the heart of our local communities.
Here we focus on a young participant of the Community Trust’s Inclusion project, Harvey Doak, who was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at the age of four.
Surprising Harvey at his home in Bridgend, Lee Trundle helped the young Swans fan to celebrate his sixth birthday with a gift bag filled with presents.
They included a pair of Alfie Mawson’s match-worn boots as well as a video message from the centre-back inviting Harvey to come to Fairwood and watch the Swans train.
Harvey regularly attends the weekly physical literacy sessions run by the Swans Community Trust’s Inclusion project.
The sessions are designed to support and help young people with a disability to develop and strengthen fundamental movement skills and have proved popular with participants.
For Harvey, the visit from club ambassador Trundle was a moment to treasure.
“It was an amazing dream that came true for Harvey,” said his mother, Kirstie Smith.
“He adores Lee and it’s a memory we will be able to look back on in years to come.
“The Swans mean the world to Harvey, from attending matches to being a member of the Junior Jacks, and also attending physical literacy sessions run by the Community Trust. It’s where he is able to feel accepted while being helped to stay active.”
Diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in September 2016, Harvey will sadly start to lose the use of his legs and is expected to become wheelchair-bound by the age of 12. He will then lose the use of his arms and eventually become paralysed.
“Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a fatal muscle-wasting condition,” explained Kirstie.
“Over time Harvey will lose the use of his legs and have loss of function in his arms which will lead to heart failure and inevitably take his life when he is his 20s or 30s, if not before.”
The Swans recently welcomed Harvey and his family to Fairwood. They got the opportunity to meet the squad and watch them train.
Having eagerly anticipated his eventual meeting with his favourite player, Mawson, Harvey was elated when they had a lengthy conversation on the side of the training pitch.
“It was great to meet Harvey – he was full of energy and so excited for the day,” Mawson said.
“It’s been very special to witness the happiness that an experience like this has given Harvey. It’s a great reward for all of his hard work.”
If you want to stay up to date with Harvey and his fight with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, you can follow him on Twitter HERE.
Look out for more success stories and exclusive interviews in the run-up to the Community Trust’s 10th Anniversary in November.