Future Star nominee – Dylan Kelsall
Dylan Kelsall was diagnosed with a life-limiting muscle-wasting disease when he was just three years old. He also had a significant curvature of his spine for which he had to undergo 19 surgeries.
The 20-year-old lives a full and active life despite his condition and is a member of the England Powerchair Football Squad that helped the country win the Joe Barry Home Nations Cup in 2022.
The national squad’s top scorer, he also plays for West Brom after starting his Powerchair career with St George’s Knights.
Dylan, from Longton, volunteers for the Dougie Mac Hospice as a way of giving back after being supported by the hospice’s children’s services, formerly the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, for the past 10 years.
A keen amateur photographer, he’s volunteered as the official photographer at Dougie Mac events including at the Volunteer Thank You evening.
Dylan has been nominated as a Future Star in the Your Heroes Awards by Linda McNee, Head of Young Adult Services at Dougie Mac.
She said: “Dylan is such an inspirational young man with so much determination to achieve his goals, despite the physical challenges he faces.
“He absolutely has a ‘can do’ attitude and is keen to not only achieve his own independence, but also encourages his peers to do the same.
“Dylan is currently learning to drive and focusing on his Powerchair football and we are incredibly proud and excited to support him as he fulfils his dreams.”
Dylan was born with Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy. Determined to have as much independence as possible he regularly spends time at Dougie Mac’s Young Adult Unit where he can meet socially with his peers and receive support from the young adult team.
He said: “It’s amazing to have been nominated for this award. It’s completely out of the blue. A lot of people with disabilities shy away from the limelight but I like to help out whenever I can.”
He added: “Powerchair football is absolutely amazing. I struggle to say how much it means to me. It gets me out and about exercising. Even though it isn’t an intense sport it gets your adrenalin going.
“It’s also great for the social aspect. A lot of people in wheelchairs can be quite reclusive but that’s not me.”