Jake Buchan is making his dreams come true by publishing his autobiography.
He hopes the book, Through the Ages, will also inspire other youngsters while raising funds for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s neo-natal unit.
Jake decided to tackle the project thanks to another young author from Peterhead, Estelle Maskame.
He explained: “Estelle started writing at the age of 12 and has enjoyed great success.
“I thought if she can do it, why not me?!
“She really inspired me to write the autobiography.”
While Jake just turned 18 on September 9, he is not short of life experiences.
Born on the 09-09-1999 – “all the nines” – he was ten weeks premature and spent the first few weeks of his life in Aberdeen’s neo-natal unit.
It was a worrying time for his parents Cindy and Mark who had their first child, Tianna, in August 1998. Sadly, she was stillborn.
Within weeks of Jake being born, the doctors delivered another body-blow – diagnosing Jake with cerebral palsy.
The couple didn’t know what to expect for his future but, although Jake is confined to a wheelchair, he has never let his condition hold him back.
And he hopes sharing his story will inspire others to reach for their dreams.
“I’d personally urge anyone that might have a physical or mental disability to never give up hope,” he said. “Always push to succeed – no matter who you are, you can do it.”
Jake certainly has and his book is just the latest chapter in this inspirational young man’s success story.
A pupil at the Anna Ritchie School in Peterhead, three years ago he started doing a business administration course at the town’s Academy.
And on August 29 he took that ambition one step further by starting another course in the same subject at Fraserburgh College.
His parents and wee brother Bruce (13), who is now in second year at Peterhead Academy, are all very proud of his many achievements.
Cindy said: “Jake’s got a great memory and that’s evident in the book – he can remember things that happened years ago.
“We’re all very proud of everything he has achieved – he’s amazing.
“His book will let people see that anything is possible, if you never give up.
“Jake’s hoping children with cerebral palsy will read it and see what they too could achieve. It’s a story of hope.”
Jake started writing his autobiography in August 2016 and completed it on May 19 this year.
And a weird coincidence led him to the door of printer Scrogie’s in his home town of Peterhead.
He explained: “My teacher gave me a book about World War Two and my great uncle Jim Davidson was in it.
“When I looked at the back of the book, I noticed it had been published by Scrogie in Peterhead.
“I didn’t know anything about the business so I Googled it and contacted them to see if I could get my book published.
“I’ve been down there a few times and Carolyn Angus and Paul Hendry have been a huge help.”
Jake has since designed the front cover and now just needs a little helping hand from local companies to turn his dream into a reality.
Cindy explained: “With Bruce’s help, Jake set up a justgiving page for donations to help him cover the costs.
“He’s also sent out letters to a number of businesses in the local area.
“Some have already donated but we’re waiting to hear back from a few others.
“Jake wants to include a thank you to them all in the book so we can’t forge ahead with publishing until we’ve heard back from everyone.”
The Buchans are not yet sure how many copies will be printed but all proceeds will go to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s neo-natal unit.
“It’s a way of thanking the unit for all their help to us as a family,” said Cindy.
As for Jake, he can’t wait to see the finished product.
“There’s no point in it sitting in a computer and no-one reading it,” he added.
“So I’ll be glad to see the finished product.
“The hardest part for me was writing about Tianna but I enjoyed everything else.”
* Great aunt Jean turned 82 on the same day Jake celebrated his 18th. She was delighted her husband Jim led Jake to Scrogie’s door.
Cindy added: “It was a remarkable coincidence but she’s over the moon for him.”
To help Jake, visit www.gofundme.com/potential-author-fundraiser. He’s raised £270 of the £500 he needs to get it into print.
A wee taste of what to expect
While playing his cards close to his chest, as Jake wants Through the Ages to tell his story (and not me!), I did glean one wee nugget he’s included.
In 2010 he raised £4500 for Children in Need by organising a charity event at Clatto Park. The youngster did 20 laps of the running track in his wheelchair to bring home the mammoth total.
He was supported in that event by the late Alison Leadingham who also organised a coffee morning to boost Jake’s total.
I’m afraid I couldn’t draw any other stories out of the canny 17-year-old so you’ll have to buy his book to find out more about his remarkable story!
To do that, however, Jake needs to raise another £230...so if you want to help make his dream a reality, please visit his fundraising page.