“Being able to fly will free me from the shackles of my disability. It would show the world that no matter what problems I have, I am still capable of doing something amazing. I may not be able to run or ride a bike like able bodied people but how many of them can say they have flown a plane!”

Born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, Matthew has always found it difficult to lead a normal life. He has spent his 28 years trying to overcome every obstacle that his condition has thrown at him; learning to walk, driving a car and going to a mainstream school where he achieved three A-levels.

I was in a very low place emotionally and physically when I applied for a scholarship. To my shock I was offered the chance to attend the selection centre at Cranwell. I had never travelled alone to another country but I took the brave step of booking a flight and hire car to travel to England purely because the chance of learning to fly was one I couldn’t pass on. I arrived at Cranwell very nervous, anxious and embarrassed. I was a young man walking into an RAF base with an obvious physical disability. Everyone was so welcoming; my anxiety and nerves faded - I have never in my life felt so ‘normal’.

Matthew learned to fly back in July. “Shadow Aviation is a very special place with incredible instructors. Every single effort was made to make the experience enjoyable and nothing was ever too much trouble. I can honestly say without question it was the best time of my life. The whole experience has taught me that disability is just a noun, not a life sentence.”

The whole experience feels like a dream. Every time I think of flying it brings a huge smile to my face. I feel like I can do anything now and things that I never would have considered before are now all options. It is tremendous. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”

To learn to fly like me apply here

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