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Wiltshire nine-year-old Max Keegan has a genetic condition which results in him having kidney dialysis for ten hours every day. He needs a specialist chair so he relax at home in comfort as well as safety while he undergoes this treatment. Now Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is looking for ‘local heroes’ who can help us make this happen. We need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference. To find out how you can support Max, go to and click on the Donate button with his story. Alternatively, contact the Newlife County Liaison Team on 01543 431 444, email Max, from Swindon, also has epilepsy and a partially dislocated hip, so having somewhere comfortable to be positioned for his daily dialysis is vital. At the moment, he receives the treatment while in bed. Mum Claire Keegan said: “His bed is the only safe place we currently have for his dialysis. But he doesn’t always want to go to bed early and having somewhere safe and comfortable for him to sit and start his dialysis would keep him involved with the family.”

Max has a rigid functional chair provided by local statutory services, but he can’t relax in this, so his only alternative is a bean bag – “which he usually falls off” – or being propped up on the settee with one of his parents. “Because he could slide off we can’t leave him on his own for even a minute,” said Claire. What Max needs is a specialist chair called a PPod, which costs £1,261. Based on a beanbag design with a moulded seat and five-point harness to keep the user secure, the seat cannot be tipped over yet is portable so it can be used anywhere in the house or garden. It also offers vital postural support. Claire added: “Max naturally leans to one side and is at significant risk of developing scoliosis – curvature of the spine – so having this chair will mean he will be properly positioned, which will help prevent further complications developing.” With no funding available from local statutory services, the Keegan family turned to Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children for help. Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness. Newlife has previously provided a specialist car seat for Max; he is one of 93 children in Wiltshire to receive equipment totalling £190,279. The Keegan family are one of five in Wiltshire currently working with Newlife, with combined equipment needs of £2,459. Newlife guarantees that 100 per cent of monies donated or fundraised in Wiltshire will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised surplus to requirements for Max will be used to help other local children.

Pictured: Max Keegan