Daredevils are being encouraged to take part in a charity parachute jump to raise funds for disabled and terminally ill children.
Staff at Tilstock Airfield, in Tilstock, near Whitchurch, have teamed up with Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children to hold a sky dive fundraiser on September 27.
All proceeds will go towards funding essential equipment for disabled children in Shropshire – children like Daniel O’Sullivan who was recently given a specialist car seat.
Daniel, from Ashley, near Market Drayton, has been diagnosed with a rare condition called Marfan syndrome which means he has abnormally long limbs. He is also registered blind.
The four-year-old finds it extremely uncomfortable to sit but has to travel to either Birmingham or London every two weeks for essential treatment.
Following an operation on his spine Daniel needed a specialist car seat however, there wasn’t one available on the high street with a custom seat costing £660.
The cost promoted mum Sarah to turn to Newlife Foundation for help with the charity fast tracking an application so Daniel had the seat available for when he came out of hospital.
Ms O’Sullivan said parents of disabled children often have to fight to get what they need.
She said: “When Daniel was born I was told he had Marfan syndrome which I’d never heard of.
“His heart was so bad doctors said he wouldn’t survive his first year and surgeons in Birmingham refused to carry out an operation he needed because they believed he wasn’t strong enough.
“I found another doctor in London and he agreed to do the surgery. Five days later Daniel was walking around hospital with a walker.
“Since then he has been through a lot and recently underwent spinal surgery. I wasn’t sure how I would get him home because he needed a specialist car seat but Newlife were great. They got me exactly what we needed and got it too me quickly.”
Ms O’Sullivan said the family now use the seat to get Daniel to and from medical appointments safely.
She added: “We are always travelling to Birmingham or London so it is essential Daniel is as comfortable as possible.
“The chair is really padded and cosy so it’s great for him. It is also great for me because it has a swivel base and I have to lift him in and out of the car.
“Our old car seat didn’t have a swivel base and I ended up needing physiotherapy on my back.
“Now my back is a million times better so the chair is perfect for Daniel and perfect for me.”
Newlife CEO Sheila Brown, OBE, said: “With statutory services across the UK implementing continued budget cuts, we expect to see more and more families turn to Newlife Foundation for help.
“That’s why we’re appealing for ‘local heroes’ to fundraise to help other disabled and terminally ill children in Shropshire.”
To take part in the charity skydive call the Newlife Community Fundraising Team on freephone 0800 988 4640 or email email@example.com
Sheila Brown added: “Every penny that people raise goes directly to funding vital equipment. This could be a wheelchair or buggy for mobility, a specialist bed or car seat to keep a child safe or a communication aid so they can tell their parents when they are hungry or in pain. And you can ring-fence your fundraising or donation to be spent in the county of your choosing.”
To find out more about the range of equipment grant and loan support services offered by the charity, call the Newlife Nurse Helpline on freephone 0800 902 0095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Daniel O’Sullivan
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