- Durham OnAir
10-year-old boy living with Becker muscular dystrophy wins Chief Scout’s Commendation
Louis Jackson, from Spennymoor, has won a prestigious scouts award.
He has been given the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct after being nominated by his scout leader Lesley Swinney.
Louis lives with Becker muscular dystrophy, a muscle-wasting condition that causes muscles to weaken and waste. It often leads to severe disability and can be life threatening.
He developed a love for Scouting from the moment he went to his first meeting four years ago and he and his family hugely value the activities that being a Scout have opened up to him.
“The moment we found out Louis had won the award was just fantastic. We are so proud of him. It’s amazing that someone had taken the time to nominate him and we feel so privileged that his uniqueness is being recognised as such a strength,” said Sarah Jackson, Louis’s mum.
“Louis has been going to Scouts ever since he turned six years old and he loves it. He’s been camping, taken part in activity days and earned badges. The group has always made an effort to be inclusive, and it’s wonderful to see Louis grow in confidence independent of the family,” she added.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls said: “I am so proud of Louis and all the young people achieving meritorious and gallantry awards. They have done such remarkable things at such a young age and they are an example to so many of us. These young people showed true courage in the face of adversity, they demonstrated resilience and they helped to save lives. I couldn’t be prouder of them and their spirit, and I am delighted that we were able to recognise their bravery.”
Louis was diagnosed with Becker muscular dystrophy when he was three years old after his family first noticed that he was experiencing mobility and behavioural issues.
Family life has been greatly impacted for the Jacksons. Louis’s behavioural and mobility issues mean they’re limited in the activities they can do together but they still find ways to enjoy time as a family.
“For a very long time, the behavioural aspect of Louis’s condition dominated everyday life and made for some interesting days out! It was hard on his older brother, Will, and we did our best as parents during meltdowns.”
“Now, we all cope better but the physical issues are more apparent. We can no longer carry Louis and he doesn’t like to use his wheelchair. This limits the activities we can do together, which is tough for him and his siblings. Louis has a Segway cart and so we try to go to places where he can use this so we can enjoy time together as a family.”
Sarah says Muscular Dystrophy UK has supported the family since Louis’s diagnosis, helping to give information and comfort throughout their journey.
“Muscular Dystrophy UK has been a huge support, every step of the way. When the genetic results came through, we were pointed in the direction of their website. Initially, we just used them for information and then we started getting more involved.”
“We set up our family fund Love for Louis and a huge turning point was the family fund weekend where we met other families. We no longer felt so alone and saw there were activities we could do as a whole family. We would be in a much darker place without MDUK.”
Susanne Driffield, Regional Development Manager-North of England & East Midlands from Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “It is a pleasure to work with the Jackson family and I’m so grateful for their involvement in the charity over the years. They have raised almost £10000 for MDUK through Love for Louis family fund which is fantastic. Louis is a superstar and The Chief Scout’s Commendation for Meritorious Conduct is well-deserved”
Donate to the Love for Louis family fund: LoveforLouis | Muscular Dystrophy UK