By Tim Saunders on
In May, Look To The Stars brought you the story of Ryan McLaughlin, a 14-year-old Scottish boy who is single-handedly trying to stamp out Mutiple Sclerosis with his own charity, Shine On Scotland. We can now happily announce that Ryan won the 2009 Child Of The Year award at a major ceremony in his native country last week.
Ryan – whose mother suffers from MS – set up the charity to raise awareness of the importance of Vitamin D in the battle against the condition. He organized a petition and march that was presented to Scottish parliament in June that attracted the support of over a thousand people, including Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.
“I am really honored to support Ryan in his fantastic campaign to get Vitamin D for all introduced as a preventative measure against MS,” said Rowling. “Ryan’s mother has MS, as did my own mother. I only wish I had the gumption at 14 to do what Ryan is doing and get such an important issue raised at parliament.”
“I can’t believe I’ve won – I’m ecstatic,” said Ryan at the Bighearted Scotland Awards ceremony. “This is a huge boost to my campaign and I hope more people get behind it as a result.”
Ryan’s mother, Kirsten, was diagnosed with MS two years ago. The former European tae kwon do champ now struggles to climb stairs or even get dressed.
“Without Ryan’s help, I do not know how we would have got through the ordeal,” said Ryan’s father, Alan. “The last couple of years have been an extremely difficult time for our family, but Ryan has become mature beyond his years as a result.”
Scottish parliament will respond to Ryan’s petition calling on government to provide Vitamin D to Scotland’s children and pregnant mothers this month.
Ryan’s Shine On Scotland campaign is looking for your support. To find out more, visit the official website.
Copyright © 2009 Look to the Stars