Mothers appeal for specialist tricycle for daughter
The mother of a disabled girl from Edgware, in London, is appealing to her local community to help her secure a specialist tricycle that will allow her daughter to play outside with her family and friends.
Nine-year-old Jennifer Jakai, has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects her balance and has left her needing a walker to aid her mobility.
Due to her condition Jennifer is unable to ride a standard bicycle and this makes it extremely difficult for her to play outside with her friends, and she can get lonely watching other children enjoying themselves outdoors.
Jennifer’s mother, Iwona, says that the lack of suitable equipment to support her daughter is beginning to affect her social life. As she explained: “Jennifer did have a specialist tricycle but she grew out of it.
“It was fantastic as it helped her to get out more and it developed her independence.
“She loved it and along with horse riding and swimming it helped her to keep fit and it developed her posture.”
Jennifer, a pupil at Colindale Primary School, loves indoor activities, like reading and dressing up as a princess, but Iwona says she’s missing her regular bike rides with her friends and family in the Golders Hill and Primrose Hill parks. She said: “Jennifer loves studying, particularly English and maths, and she really enjoys looking after Colleen and Dave, the rabbits at school.
“But she needs more exercise to strengthen her hamstring and calf muscles, which she got when she was out riding with her 13-year old brother Jonathan, and her friends from school.
“What I don’t want is for my daughter to miss out on things so I’m desperate to raise the funds needed to buy her a new tricycle.”
Iwona, identified a tricycle that was best suited to Jennifer’s needs but she was devastated to find that it cost an eye-watering £1,815.
“That’s way out of my budget,” exclaimed Iwona. “So I went online to see if there was anyone who could help me and I was delighted when I discovered Caudwell Children.”
Caudwell Children is a national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, allowing them access to the services, equipment, therapies and treatments that they need to lead happy, active and independent lives.
And now, thanks to fundraising support from Caudwell Children, Iwona is looking to raise the money needed for the tricycle.
The charity has created a Just Giving page for Jennifer and they are approaching other charitable trusts, grant giving organisations, rotary clubs and masons lodges in order to raise the cash.
Iwona is now appealing to local people to support her fundraising efforts. As she continued: “I’d like to ask the public and the business community to give me a helping hand.
“With their support we can make life so much better for Jennifer and she would be able to play outside with her brother and friends again.”
Iwona, says the tricycle is crucial to improving Jennifer’s fitness and general wellbeing and would also help prepare her daughter for transitioning to High School.
As she explained: “The trikes are specially designed to assist disabled children in their physical development and rehabilitation, and they are engineered to make pedalling that much easier.
“So whilst Jennifer is having fun she will also be improving her core strength and co-ordination, developing muscle tone in her legs and improving her gross motor skills.
“She’s a determined little girl and ultimately the trike will help her to fulfil her ambition of becoming a librarian!”
Mark Bushell, from Caudwell Children, said: “It can be heart-breaking for parents when their disabled child is unable to participate with family and friends.
“A specialist tricycle not only benefits the child, it has a positive impact on the whole family, allowing them to get out of the house and do things together.
“Unbelievably, there are an estimated 70,000 children in the UK who would benefit from the correct mobility equipment.
“Contrary to popular belief much specialist equipment, like tricycles, are not provided through statutory measures.
“Jennifer’s case highlights the support that is needed for children with a condition that affects their mobility.
“I want members of the public and the business community to do whatever it takes to support the family through their Just Giving page.
“With their help Jennifer can get the equipment that she so desperately needs to improve her health and wellbeing.”
You can support Jennifer through her Just Giving page here.