BEAR Grylls brought joy to an “incredible” young man’s with a surprise Land Rover adventure day.
Blake Harris, 13, has not only to deal with his own autism, which gave him a tough start to life after it went undiagnosed for many years, but he now works hard to support his mum while they care for his sister Lily-Mai, who is diagnosed with a terminal cancer.
Harris was attending the Hay Festival 2018 expecting to watch his hero Grylls deliver a talk, but instead the survivalist arrived in a bespoke Land Rover Discovery bearing the boy’s name, to take him on a mini adventure.
As part of a campaign called Above and Beyond, Land Rover had arranged for the pair to go off-roading to a “secret wood”, where Grylls set up a bespoke shelter before teaching Blake to how to light a fire and use a catapult. They even scavenged for —and ate — maggots on the trip, with the teenager downing the creepy-crawly snack without a grumble.
Grylls said: “Wow. It’s not often you get to hang out with such a special young man who has had to deal with so many difficulties in life. He embodies that Above and Beyond spirit and never gives up which makes him an example to us all.
“It has been such a privilege to spend this time with Blake. He is a credit to his family and the Scouts. Keep going buddy!”
Blake Harris said: “I couldn’t believe that Bear was there in a Land Rover designed just for me. To have some time with the Chief Scout and learn lessons from how Bear has dealt with difficulties in his life is a once in a life-time opportunity. I will never forget the experience and it will motivate me for the future.”
Arguably, Blake’s mum Liz Bishop is another true hero in this story, for thinking of such a fantastic treat for her son during such a tough time for the family.
She said: “I can’t thank Land Rover and Bear enough for an incredible day, I’ll never forget the surprise on Blake’s face when he realised Bear was there for him. I am sure the memories will provide huge amounts of motivation for the future.”