Like most eight-year-olds Steven Mulcahy has a cheeky grin and is full of energy, but for him everyday tasks such as feeding and dressing himself, which his friends take for granted, are virtually impossible. Newlife Foundation is calling on local heroes to help provide a simple piece of equipment which would give his independence a huge boost.
Although the plucky youngster from Cleckheaton who has Cerebral Palsy manages just enough small movements to use a controller to play games on his beloved computer, he can’t use the standard toys played with by his sister, Caitlin, aged six or his brothers, Logan, aged four and Leo aged one. He can’t wash, dress or feed himself without help from his family.
However there is a simple piece of equipment which means he could do this – which would really boost his self-esteem and sense of independence. A Neater Eater is an arm support with a spoon on the end – which he was able to test out – successfully managing to feed himself a yoghurt which saw him beaming with pride at his achievement, much to the joy of his parents, Samantha and Leejay.
However the £1,075 cost of the Neater Eater prompted the family to apply to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children, the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness.
Newlife understands the application for funding has been put to the Kirklees Authority panel twice and despite the charity intervening, this has been declined, so Newlife is appealing for local heroes to come forward to help Steven and his family by funding this much needed piece of equipment.
Mum Samantha said: “Without the Neater Eater he can’t feed himself, everything goes all over the floor. With one, he can eat a yoghurt perfectly in two minutes! It was so lovely to see the look on his face, it made us so proud.
“He’s not been too happy just lately, he’s starting to realise the differences between him and his friends. He has epilepsy and despite new medication his seizures aren’t under control and is legs are affected by the Cerebral Palsy too, so although he can walk, he can’t walk very far.
“It would be great if Steven could have the Neater Eater, it means he could have a little bit of independence and feel better about himself. It also means he could feed himself while I feed his younger brother Leo, which would free me up a little bit too.”
If you would like to help Steven, visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk/westyorkshire read his story and click the ‘Donate Now’ button. For further information about how you can support families in West Yorkshire, contact Newlife’s Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager for Yorkshire, Caroline Artschan, on 07534 491 933 or by emailing email@example.com.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of the money donated to help Steven will be used to fund the Neater Eater. Any surplus funding will help provide equipment for other disabled children in the county as Steven is one of 22 families in West Yorkshire with equipment needs of £38,097 currently working with the charity.
For full details of Newlife Foundation’s range of practical support for disabled and terminally ill children and their families, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline – 0800 902 0095 (free from UK landlines and mobiles) – or go to: https://newlifecharity.co.uk.
For further information about how you can support families in West Yorkshire, contact Newlife’s Regional Fundraising and Awareness Manager for Yorkshire, Caroline Artschan, on 07534 491 933 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured: Steven Mulcahy