Appeal for wheelchair to change boys life
A mother from Petts Wood, in Bromley, is appealing to the public to help her secure a specialist wheelchair that will improve the health and wellbeing of her nine-year-old son, Charlie.
The Croston Junior School pupil has spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that has left him with weak muscles and seen him become a full-time wheelchair user.
Aimee Spiers says that her son has outgrown his current wheelchair and is unable to sit in it for long periods of time, so he’s now using an NHS chair which is extremely basic and hinders his mobility.
Because of the discomfort of the chair Aimee is desperately trying to raise the funds needed for a new wheelchair to ensure Charlie continues to have a good quality of life.
Aimee says that without a new powered wheelchair her son’s school work may suffer and he could become isolated from his friends. As she explained: “The NHS chair that Charlie is currently using doesn’t allow him to participate in activities at home and in school, and I don’t want him to miss out on things.
“Without a better chair he’s starting to stay in the house more and although he loves his play station and his games, he’s not taking in as many trips to the cinema as he would like.
“He loves going to watch films and he’s a big fan of superheroes, particularly Batman and the Lego films.”
Aimee and Charlie’s father, Edward, had to fundraise for their son’s first two powered wheelchairs. The first lasted until he was 6 and now he’s outgrown the second one.
But when the pair researched what powerchair would suit Charlie’s needs in the future they discovered that there was a significant financial barrier to them buying the equipment.
“The best chair for Charlie costs a whopping£24,421,” exclaimed Aimee. “As you can imagine that’s way beyond our budget.
“It’s heart-breaking knowing that we can’t afford to buy a chair that would be so life changing for Charlie.
”It would give him additional postural support and he could change his position and access different table heights.
“The family could even go out to restaurants and we could stay out for the whole day if we wanted to.”
Aimee and Edward had resigned themselves to being unable to buy the a powerchair for Charlie but then a friend told them about Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
And now, thanks to fundraising support from the charity, Aimee and Edward have started a new fundraising campaign to raise the money they need to buy a state-of-the-art power chair for their son.
“Caudwell Children has been superb,” explained Aimee. “They know how important this piece of equipment is to Charlie’s future.
“They’ve set up a special Just Giving page and have contacted other funding organisations, such as foundations, rotary clubs, and masons lodges.
“However, I’m now appealing to the public, the business community, and other funders to give us a helping hand in hitting our fundraising target.
“I know it’s an awful lot of money but with their support we can make life so much better for Charlie.”
Mark Bushell, from Caudwell Children, said: “This piece of equipment will improve Charlie’s life immeasurably. Unbelievably, there are 70,000 children in the UK who would benefit from the correct mobility equipment.
“I’m urging the public and business community to get behind this appeal. With their support we can ensure that Charlie has the specialist equipment that he so desperately needs and deserves.”
You can support Charlie through his Just Giving page here.