Mothers message of gratitude to Caudwell Children
The mother of a 12-year-old boy from Corby, in Northamptonshire, has publicly thanked Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, after they funded a specialist sports wheelchair for her son.
Ben has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a condition that leads to progressive muscle degeneration.
At the age of 10 Ben became a permanent wheelchair user having lost the ability to stand or walk. His condition has affected his social life as it makes it difficult for him to mix with other children.
In order to keep him active Ben, a student at Corby Business Academy, was introduced to wheelchair football, which he found he had a natural talent for, and he quickly secured a place in the Northamptonshire Powerchair Football Club.
However, until now he’s had to borrow one of the clubs spare sports chairs to play the game he loves. Unfortunately, because it’s not been made to Ben’s personal specifications it restricts his mobility on court.
Luckily a friend told Ben’s mother, Maria, about Caudwell Children and she applied for support.
“I couldn’t believe it when my application was successful,” explained Maria, aged 44. “I’d been told that the specialist sports wheelchair that best suited Ben’s needs would cost an eye watering £6,350.
“Obviously that was well outside my budget so I had resigned myself to being unable to buy the equipment for Ben.
“So I can’t thank Caudwell Children enough for their support, without their help it may have been impossible for Ben to continue playing the game.”
Ben, an Everton fan, enjoys most sports and has recently won gold medals for table tennis and the obstacle course at a Sports Day held at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Buckinghamshire.
“Ben has a good attitude to life,” said Maria. “He wakes up with a smile on his face every morning and he loves playing in the football team.
“It’s enhanced his social life, as he’s made lots of new friends, and the new sports chair has helped him to remain positive.
“He now has much more mobility on the court, and he is quicker during the game, and together with his determination to succeed he’s now dreaming of getting to the top in the sport and playing for his country.
“Without Caudwell children he wouldn’t have had such aspirations.”
Mark Bushell, from Caudwell Children, says the charity was delighted to lend its support. He said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve been able to give Ben the equipment that he needs to play powerchair football to the best of his abilities.
“It will improve his performance as the chair is so much lighter and he’ll now be able to travel at the same speed as other players.
“It’s also much more manoeuvrable, so he can get around the court more easily.”
Specialist equipment that allows disabled children and young people to compete in sport can cost up to 100 times more than its equivalent in able-bodied competition.
“Cost is a huge barrier to those who want to participate,” continued Mark. “It often results in disabled children being marginalised.
“Ben’s new chair will keep his sporting dreams alive and will improve his confidence and wellbeing.
“But it’s only with the support of the general public and our partner funders that we can provide the equipment that disabled children need and deserve, so I would urge people to support Caudwell Children.”
Find out how we could support your child here.