When bride-to-be Jessica Reeves, from Newmarket, walks down the aisle next year, one thing would make her day extra special. That would be to see her two-year-old sister Olivia walk with her as a bridesmaid.
Olivia has Dystonia, a condition that causes muscle spasms and affects her mobility. A specialist walking frame would make Jessica’s dream come true – and most importantly open up a whole new world for Olivia.
So now Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing to local heroes in Suffolk to help get Olivia a full body support walking system that would change her life.
As well as Dystonia, Olivia has Microcephaly, Developmental Delay and Diabetes. She is unable so sit without support and needs help with all daily activities. Olivia is a bubbly little girl who loves interacting with people and having a walking frame would give her so many more opportunities in life.
Mum Rochelle Reeves said: “Mentally, Olivia is the equivalent of a new-born baby; her dystonia causes her to be very stiff, so using her legs and arms is not possible. She starts school in January and it would be amazing for her to have the walking frame that would enable her to be on the same level as her classmates.”
Oliva trialled the walking frame and for the first time she was able to walk, but at a cost of £1,933 and with no statutory funding available, Rochelle turned to Newlife – the largest charity funder of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness in the UK.
The special equipment would strap around Olivia’s chest and hips sending signals to her brain, giving her the freedom to move independently. Things like stroking the family’s pet dog Tiny Tim will be much easier for her to do. It will also strengthen her muscles and maintain her digestive and respiratory health.
Rochelle added: “If Olivia got the walker my oldest daughter Jessica’s dream would come true, all she wants is for Olivia to be able to walk down the aisle at her wedding – it would be something amazing that the whole family could see. It would change Olivia’s life completely. She loves going to the park and playing in the garden but can only sit and watch, with the walking frame she will be able to do so much more than she can now. Seeing my little girl walk around our home on her own would be a dream come true.”
We need donors and fundraisers who want to really make a difference, helping us transform Olivia’s everyday life. To find out how you can support Olivia go to https://newlifecharity.co.uk/Suffolk and click on the Donate button next to her story. 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 Suffolk will be used to specifically help children with disabilities and terminal illness in the county. Any money raised above what is needed for Olivia will be used to help other children in the county.
Pictured: Olivia Reeves