Fabulous local fundraisers are helping six-year-old Gabriel McBryan get the specialist equipment he needs so he can sit in comfort – and safety – at home in Kirkintilloch. Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK – launched a special fund earlier this year specifically to help children in East Dunbartonshire – and Gabriel is the first to benefit. Gabriel has Cerebral Palsy and motor and communication difficulties and struggles to hold his head up for more than a few minutes at a time; he has functional seating provided as an alternative to his wheelchair, but even this can be uncomfortable at times. His parents contacted Newlife for help to get specialist seating – called a P-Pod – after he regularly trapped his head between the back and head rest of his functional chair. This is important because Gabriel is unable to speak so can’t alert anyone to his situation. Mum Mary McBryan said: “At the end of a full day at school Gabriel is exhausted and struggles to hold his head up or maintain a safe position in his wheelchair. A specialist P-Pod chair would give him a safe, comfortable and supportive alternative place to chill out and relax, which he deserves after a long and busy day.” She added: “We visited a friend recently whose son already has a P-Pod. Having just taken the boys to a yoga physiotherapy session, my friend suggested Gabriel try out the chair. It was so comfortable that he fell asleep in it – something that he just doesn’t normally do during the day. So we were absolutely thrilled to find out, just a couple of days later, that the funding had been found for Gabriel to have his own P-Pod.” For more information about the Newlife East Dunbartonshire Fund go to www.newlifecharity.co.uk/eastdunbartonshire or email email@example.com. Or call the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444. The Newlife East Dunbartonshire Fund supports equipment provision for under-19s in the county area facing any significant disability, whether acquired through birth defect, prematurity, accident or illness. The website – www.newlifecharity.co.uk/eastdunbartonshire enables local people to find out who needs help in their area right now and highlights the support given to local families. Currently, there is one child in East Dunbartonshire waiting for specialist equipment totalling £853. Newlife has already helped 13 local children, with equipment worth more than £25,000.
Pictured: Gabriel McBryan