United Wai: Wai Hung Ma swims for a cause

By Adam Donnelly
November 20, 2016 - 12:48pm Updated: November 21, 2016 - 6:10pm

KAMLOOPS — Wai Hung Ma has been facing and breaking limitations his whole life. He was born with cerebral palsy, but that physical disability hasn’t kept him from achieving his goal to inspire people to help others. After swimming “All the Wai” in September, in support of the Kamloops Y, Wai took on his second swim challenge Sunday: 5400 seconds in the pool, all in support of the United Way.

Communication doesn’t come easy for Wai Hung Ma, but he’s persistent and works hard to have you understand him.

“Five, Four, oh, oh,” Ma explained, using his hands to emphasize the numbers.

Unless you’re a passionate triathlete, 5400 seconds (90 minutes) straight in the pool would probably challenge anyone. For Wai Ma, it’s just another way to break some limitations.

“I want to help people,” he told CFJC Today.

To do that, Wai has partnered with the Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way for his second swim challenge, after doing his first or the Kamloops Y Women’s Shelter.

“Wait… just wanted to give back to the community, and wanted to know if we’d partner with him,” United Way Executive Director Danalee Baker explained. “Of course, we said yes.”

For those United Way staff, as well as friends, who came out to support Wai, his perseverance is inspiring.

“He’s just determined,” Baker added. “He’s got courage and determination and resilience, and despite any disabilities, he’s facing, he doesn’t see them.”

The swim challenge and fundraising that goes along with it is an opportunity for Wai Ma to give back.

“They helped me a lot,” Wai said, spreading his arms wide.

All money raised will help the United Way provide some winter essentials for families in need in the region. If you’d like to donate, you can visit Wai Ma’s Facebook page, or click here to donate online.

 

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