‘Heartbreaking’ struggle to keep son mobile
Mum’s appeal for new wheelchair
AMOTHER is making an urgent appeal to the public to help raise funds to get her son the new wheelchair he desperately needs.
James Pendleton, 11, from Shurdington, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy – a muscle wasting condition that affects movement and co-ordination
His family have been trying to raise funds as he has outgrown his wheelchair and as he is about to start secondary school they are concerned it could impact on his education.
Mother Laura Andrews said: “James has a great attitude to life and I don’t want him to lose that.
“Without a better chair he’s starting to miss out on things and he’s staying in more which has left him with cabin fever.
“A new wheelchair will enable him to keep up with his friends, it will allow him to travel over different surfaces and help him to explore new places.
“It’s heartbreaking seeing him struggle to access things and when he goes to his new senior school in September he needs a new chair to participate in school activities.”
James is currently in a lot of discomfort with his wheelchair that he has at the moment.
The need is greater than ever now as James is due to go to Chosen Hill School, in Churchdown and as well as his education potentially suffering he could become isolated from his friends as well.
He has a keen interest in photography, motorsports and aeroplanes.
“James loves taking photographs at places like Goodwood or the Royal Air Tattoo and hereally enjoys being outside discovering new places and it helps him to keep a positive attitude,” Laura said.
The family started fundraising for a new wheelchair for James more than a year ago, and although they’ve raised over £3,000 there’s still a long way to go as the chair best suited to James’s needs costs significantly more.
The family were told that the chair that would be suitable for James costs a £18,116.
Laura said: “Obviously this is way beyond what we can afford and it’s something that isn’t funded through statutory measures.”
Now the family has fundraising support from Caudwell Children which is a Staffordshire based national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Laura has started a new fundraising campaign to raise the money they need to buy a state-of-the-art power chair for her son.
She said: “Caudwell Children has been brilliant.
“They know how important this piece of equipment is to James’ 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 the support of the community we can make life so much better for James.”
The organisation knows how important this wheelchair is to James making progress at school and socially.
Caudwell Children representative Mark Bushell said: “This piece of equipment will improve James’ 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 James has the specialist equipment that he so desperately needs and deserves.”
You can support James at justgiving. com/chair4james
When he goes to his new senior school in September he needs a new chair to participate in school activities
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