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The amazing response to a charity appeal means disabled eight-year-old Rebecca Penney has now got the specialist walking equipment she urgently needed to help reduce chronic pain in her hips.


After reading about Rebecca and her daily battle with Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and hydrocephalus, an anonymous donor stepped forward to pay the £1,638 needed to complete funding of £2,373 for a walking frame through Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children. And Rebecca received the equipment at her home in Halton Lodge, Runcorn, on Friday last week.


Rebecca’s grandma Denise Sothern, who looks after her, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated to the appeal. Rebecca was really excited to get her walker and it will make a big difference to her life.”


Rebecca has a complex condition including Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and hydrocephalus. Specialists at Alderhey hospital have recommended she is kept mobile to help reduce hip pain and prevent further health problems developing. A walking frame will also give Rebecca a bit of independence because she had had to rely on family to push her around in her special-needs buggy.


The family bought Rebecca’s first walking frame themselves and when she outgrew this Newlife stepped in, in 2014, with a replacement. Now she is too big for this walker – and the family returned it to be used in the charity’s innovative equipment recycling service. Which left Rebecca without a walking frame once again.


Denise added: “A new walking frame is something that Rebecca will use both at home and at school to support muscle development, improve her head and trunk control and aid digestion – all of which will help maintain her health and prevent new problems occurring. Not only that, but it is Rebecca’s only opportunity to get around independently and join in with class activities and play with the children where we live. She was having to just sit on the sidelines and you could see the frustration in her face, not understanding why she couldn’t join in.”


With no funding for this equipment available through local statutory services, Denise turned once again to Newlife for help. Newlife’s Head of Charity Operations Stephen Morgan said: “With the support of fabulous local fundraisers and donors, we are delighted to have been able to help Rebecca and her family. Not only will the walking frame reduce her pain, but it will mean she can join in more fun play, which is a wonderful bonus.”

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