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Five-year-old Rihanna Johnstone, from Galashiels, has a life-limiting condition – and staying mobile is key to her future health needs.

Mum Shona Johnstone said: “If Rihanna gets to be a teenager we will be doing alright. It is important to keep her as mobile as possible, to promote good digestion, circulation and breathing function and stop her muscles from wasting away.”

Rihanna, who was a premature baby, has a complex condition including Cerebral Palsy and chronic lung disease. Her physiotherapist recommended a walking frame and she has had a chance to trial the equipment – managing to take several steps at her first attempt. However, there is no funding available locally for this equipment, so Rihanna’s parents turned to Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children, for help.

Due to the high number of applications it is currently dealing with, Newlife – the UK’s leading charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness – is looking for ‘local heroes’ to help make this happen for her.

The walker she needs costs £2,388. If you would like to support Rihanna in getting her equipment, go to: and click on the Donate button next to her story.

The walking frame will not only help reduce the development of further health issues, it will give Rihanna a much needed sense of independence around the family home. This is especially significant because mum Shona suffered a stroke last March, while giving birth to Rihanna’s baby brother, and this has left her paralysed down one side of her body.

The website address above includes contact details for the Newlife County Liaison Team – tel no 01543 431 444 or email – and shows specific ways people can help support children with disability and terminal illness and their families in the Scottish Borders area.

Any funds raised above what is needed for Rihanna will help pay for equipment for another child in Scottish Borders, where Newlife has already supported 18 children with equipment totalling £72,194.

Pictured: Rihanna Johnstone