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Just a sneeze or waking up in the morning could cause Cameron Allen to break a bone but it won’t stop this life-loving Appin teenager from aiming high.
The Oban High School pupil, who got four As and a B in his Highers, hopes to get his private pilot’s licence soon.
The 17-year-old, who raised £1,700 this year for the Brittle Bone Society, had his first flying lesson earlier this year with help from charity Aerobility.
He flew at about 2,000ft from Skye in a loop taking in Loch Sunart, Tobermory and the Sound of Mull.
Cameron said: ‘It was an incredible feeling. I’ve always had an interest in aviation but had thought that flying a plane would maybe be one of those things that would be impossible until I read about Aerobility in the Brittle Bone Society’s magazine. The flying lesson was a birthday present.’
Since then Cameron has also landed himself work experience with Oban Airport on Mondays, checking the runway, submitting weather reports to the Met Office for pilots and learning how to file any incidents – including a recent dog rescue when it got stuck in a pipe.
Thanks to his new skills, he can even ‘guesstimate’ how high clouds are by looking at the shape and colour of them over the nearby hills.
The airport’s station manager, Tom Eddleston, says Cameron is ‘one of the team’.
Tom added: ‘He’s keen, got the right approach and applies himself to everything that’s thrown at him. It feels as though he’s been with us for years. He’s one of the team.’
Because of his genetic condition, which was diagnosed when he was just six weeks old, Cameron has had more than 350 broken bones. In one year, be broke 80.
There is no known cure for his condition but now he is on a new drugs trial which seems to be slowing down the number of fractures. The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow is a centre of excellence for brittle bone disease.
He once had both his arms and legs in plaster cast at the same time.
‘I still went to school like that while someone was off with a broken pinky!’ he said.
Cameron, who will be studying for a computing degree at Argyll College next year, hopes to keep up his work experience with plans to get him into the air control tower.
‘They are trying to get me up into the control tower. There’s no lift but I’m still hoping to spend a day up there. It would be amazing,’ he said.
‘It’s great here. They include me in everything they do, they really go out of their way to train me,’ he added.
To get his private pilot’s licence, Cameron needs to notch up 40 flying hours which he hopes to achieve in the next year or so.
Back on ground, Cameron, his mum and dad Helen and Graham, 12-year-old brother Max and dog Angus have been doing 50 fundraising walks and wheels around Scotland and as far south as Bournemouth, one for each of the years the Brittle Bone Society has been offering emotional and practical support to people and their families living with the condition.
To find out more about Cameron’s fundraising for the Brittle Bone Society go to facebook.com/BBS50walks or straight to justgiving.com/fundraising/camallen to make a donation.