Kind donor helps secure new wheelchair for Kenilworth teenager's Team GB dream

A fundraising campaign to help buy a new racing wheelchair for a Kenilworth teenager hit its target days after being launched thanks to a kind donor who saw the appeal.

Last week The KWN published a story about the appeal to help raise £5,000 for a new chair for Zien Zhou.

Zien Zhou with Jack Gibson, director of Fitness Worx and the cheque. Photo by Fitness Worx

Zien Zhou with Jack Gibson, director of Fitness Worx and the cheque. Photo by Fitness Worx

Zien has been competing in wheelchair racing competitions for the last few years and hopes to make it on the Team GB Paralympic team for Tokyo in 2020.

To keep competing and training Zien needed a new wheelchair as he has outgrown his current one. Zien’s father Tony Zhou set up the GoFundMe page on March 14 and then approached the team at Fitness Worx (FWX) in Kenilworth, where Zien trains, for help.

The team at the gym were happy to help and set up a fundraising video, which went live on their site last Monday.

After seeing the video and the newspaper article a kind anonymous donation was made for £4,000.

Jack Ginson from Fitness Worx said: “We are happy to be able to help Zien through the power of our social media and connections with the press in Kenilworth.

“The anonymous donator saw the video and was blown away by Zien story. He then saw it in the Kenilworth Weekly News and decided to donate £4,000 to Zien.”

During another video at FWX on Tuesday Jack surprised Zien with the news.

When the cheque was revealed Zien said: “Wow. Thank you so much. Honestly I can’t say how much this means to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.”

Tony Zhou said: “I can not thank Chris, Jack and the team at FWX enough. I never thought that we would be able to raise the money so quickly and give Zien the chance of a lifetime. FWX is built on community spirit, and this shows in the wonderful donations we have received over the last week.”

Prior to the cheque to the fundraising, £995 had been raised on the GoFundMe page.

Jack added: “We would like to personally thank all of the community for getting behind Zien. Since 2014 we have been helping to change lives in Warwickshire and continue to do so on a daily basis.

“The brand of FWX is dedicated to helping people like Zien. It does not matter what ability you have or where you come from, we want to make each person the best version of themselves.

“Zien is fighting for a place on the Team GB Paralympic squad and we will be doing everything we can with him to achieve his goal - like all the members, we believe in him, his abilities and his mindset is second to none.

“He is a credit to Kenilworth and he should be proud of himself.

“Whether you need help like Zien or have a fitness goal in mind, please do stop by for a coffee and chat with my team.

“The door is always open and we will help no matter what situation you are in. Thank you to Zien for being an incredible human being. You deserve all of this.”