A simple piece of specialist equipment will allow a seven-year-old boy from Bury to maintain his independence and stay active.
Alex Mayo, from Ramsbottom, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is unable to stand without support. He also has chronic lung disease so receives oxygen support to help him breathe.
The brave little boy uses a manual wheelchair for most day-to-day activities but can walk with the help of a frame.
The Millwood School pupil was given a walking frame two-years-ago by leading charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, but has now outgrown the equipment.
Now the charity has launched a fundraising appeal to buy Alex a new frame, costing £1,913, so he can continue to get the health benefits obtained from walking.
Mum Tracey said: “For Alex a walking frame is his independence, it’s his legs – it’s what opens the world to him and allows him to walk.
“Alex is just seven so he wants to explore and do all the things he is capable off. It’s very important that he is able to walk on his own two feet.
“Having a frame and keeping Alex walking is also vital for his long term health. Walking aids his breathing, strengthens his posture and prevents long term problems occurring in his hips.”
Alex has his own walking frame at school which was paid for by statutory services however he is unable to take it home as it is too big to fit on the school bus.
Because statutory services have paid for one frame they are unable to provide funding for a second.
Tracey said she’d love to get the new frame as soon as possible to boost Alex who has spent the last four weeks in hospital.
She said: “Alex has had a lot of bad luck recently and had one illness after another.
“It started off with a chest infection so we went to North Manchester General Hospital but after a few days they discovered he had the adenovirus and tonsillitis so we were transferred to Central Manchester University Hospital.
“He spent a week in intensive care before going back to North Manchester for a further two weeks to take care of his chest infection. Then it was back to Central Manchester because he had breathing problems.
“We actually walked into hospital on June 8 and didn’t get home until last week.
“I just travelled around with him while my husband Peter brought us supplies.
“We’d love to have the walking frame as soon as possible – it would be a timely boost for Alex now he is back home.”
Newlife Foundation is now actively seeking donations to help fund Alex’s new frame. The charity has funded 207 Equipment Grants for disabled and terminally ill children in Lancashire, totalling £336,882.
However, the demand for Newlife services has shot up in recent months and the charity is appealing for ‘local heroes’ to come forward to fundraise or donate towards the cost of equipment for children in the county.
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “As cutbacks continue to bite into local authority budgets we can expect to see applications for Newlife equipment services continue to rise.
“As a charity we are looking increasingly to ‘local heroes’ to help us help children in individual counties – and Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of all monies donated or fundraised in Lancashire can be ring-fenced to help Alex or provide essential equipment for disabled and terminally ill children within the county boundary.”
If you think you can help the Mayo family, the Newlife Community Fundraising Team can be contacted on freephone 0800 988 4640 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Alex Mayo
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