Like most five-year-old boys Bobby Allen from Worcester wants to join in games with his friends and try out different sports, but he isn’t able to walk on his own as his muscles are very weak. However, with a special standing frame he could spend time out of his wheelchair and have the independence to try new things and go places without being taken by someone else.
Now Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is looking for ‘local heroes’ who can help us make this happen. We already have £668 towards this vital piece of equipment, which costs over £2,000.
Bobby has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 3, a genetic condition which affects the nerves which control muscle movement. Although it is a degenerative condition, he is currently stable and uses a manual chair to manoeuvre around school and a power chair for when he is outside – but a standing frame would open up his whole world and allow him to do so much more.
Bobby’s mum, Ally, said: “When his dad, Stuart, and I found out Bobby had SMA we worried what the future would hold, but now we just look at things in a different way and see how else we can do things. Bobby has the same mind-set, he knows what his body can’t do, but he works out how he can do things a different way.
“He’s a really happy little boy, a cheeky monkey, but a standing frame would mean he wouldn’t have to rely on other people to take him everywhere, so he could be independent and keep up with his friends. It would also give him lots of health benefits too as his organs will work better if he is able to stand up.
“Bobby has tried out this type of standing frame and was able to get up and go to a shelf to get his own toy, which was great. Having one he could use at home as well as at school would mean he could play in the garden with his little brother, Freddy, who is sixteen-month’s old.
“Bobby’s quite arty so the standing frame would mean he could also stand at the easel, which would be easier than sitting. He likes sports too and wants to try playing tennis; if he is standing rather than sitting in a wheelchair he will be able to move his arms properly. The standing frame can also have a tray attached which means he could access the curriculum at school when he goes into year one in September.”
Ally added: “At the end of the day Bobby is five-years-old and wants to be the same as his friends. He won’t be able to run around, but it will help him keep up with his friends for the majority of things. This equipment would be such a big help and would let him be much more included in things. It would mean a lot to us all.”
At Newlife we need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Bobby’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Bobby, go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/worcestershire read his story and click the ‘Donate Now’ button. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Worcestershire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Bobby will be used to help other local children as Bobby is one of eight families in Worcestershire with equipment needs of £8,253 currently working with the charity.
Pictured: Robert ‘Bobby’ Allen