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SpecialEffect News

05 Oct 2018

Ian, in his family's own words

A few weeks ago Ian, a remarkable young man we’d helped for several years, passed away.

It’s always been an privilege to have been a small part of Ian’s life, but we were truly humbled when his family wrote the following as part of a fundraiser for us after his death. The ability to play games has the potential to be life-changing for so many of the people we help, and it’s an honour to have helped enable that for Ian.

A heartfelt thank you to Ian’s sister Katy, his mother Lesley and the rest of the Gannon family. It’s been amazing to have known Ian, and his enthusiasm and love of life will be truly missed by all the team here.

"Ian was an extraordinary young man who always saw the best in any situation. Ian was born with Muscular Dystrophy and exceeded all expectations. Although his life expectancy was early teens, we were lucky to have Ian in our lives for an extra 13 years.

Although his muscles weakened, his spirit did not. He was a HUGE Arsenal fan, attending nearly every home game over the last few years. Although he could never physically play football, he would spend hours playing FIFA on the PlayStation.

From an early age, Ian loved the PlayStation. When he became weaker, he struggled to use a normal controller. We thought he would soon lose his ability altogether.

This is when SpecialEffect gave Ian a precious lifeline. They designed Ian a specially adapted PlayStation control so he could continue to use his PlayStation based on his abilities rather than his disabilities. When he was online, he wasn’t Ian who has Muscular Dystrophy and was in a wheelchair, he was just ‘Ian’ and as far as anyone else knew he was your average 27yr old. This gave Ian a new independence and we will forever be grateful for this.

Ian was surrounded by love, happiness and support from his family and all his many friends, but it was the freedom he had to be ‘normal’ when he went online which I really think helped prolong his life.

Without the help from SpecialEffect, Ian’s life would have been completely different. We cannot begin to explain how much SpecialEffect changed his life, enabling him to have so much fun - it was his lifeline."

Ian Gannon playing FIFA with his modified gaming setup

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