Gareth has a physical disability, cerebral palsy and asthma, but these have never prevented him from achieving his goals. "Like Rick Hansen, I have my obstacles to overcome," he says. "I have trouble walking, I fall over easily, but that doesn't stop me from participating in physical activities."
Last year, Gareth ran 1600m as part of a school fitness test and showed his distinctive strength of character and tenacity in doing so. "I ran very slowly and painfully, but that didn't stop me from running non-stop and having fun," he says.
Dan Rossett, a teacher at Gareth's school, notes that Gareth was an easy choice for a nomination to take part in the Rick Hansen Relay. "Whatever we are doing at school, he's out there doing it and giving it his best. He never complains and never finds an excuse not to do something."
Gareth's positive attitude is already inspiring those around him. When he ran in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary relay, Gareth was greeted by a line of cheering students and teachers from his school. "I felt honoured to run in the relay. I also felt great; I felt like I could run 1000 miles."
Gareth leads a busy life outside of school. A talented pianist, Gareth regularly travels an hour to piano lessons and works hard to develop his skills. After university, he hopes to become a piano composer.
"My message to other young people would be to never give up, to always try, and to live life to the fullest."
We congratulate Gareth for his achievements, and hope that his story inspires others to never give up on their dreams.
The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program empowers young people to make positive change in their communities. Click here to find out more.
Read more stories of inspirational young Difference Makers here.