TEN-YEAR-OLD cerebral palsy sufferer Phoebe Matthews is a step closer to her dream of being able to play with her schoolfriends after an appeal to buy her a walker was kick-started with a £1,500 donation.
Phoebe, who is severely disabled, relies heavily on others to do everything for her, but with the support of the £2,100 walker, which holds her upright and allows her to push herself along with her legs, the “bright little bean” can scoot around.
Phoebe, of Meadway, Spalding, has a walker at home provided by the NHS, but because of its size it is not possible to transport it to and from Monkshouse School each day, leaving her unable to join in with her friends.
Mum Amanda said: “She’s had one of these walkers since she was small and when she’s in it she really comes alive. But they are very expensive so she really has had to choose whether to use the one provided by the NHS at home or at school.
“Being able to buy her a second walker would mean she could do all sorts of things such as joining in play sessions and interacting with her friends.
“If I could win the Lottery I wouldn’t have this constant worry about how we are going to fund the equipment she so desperately needs.
“Phoebe is such a bright little bean and it would really make all the difference to her.”
On hearing Phoebe’s story, Pat Baxter, from the staff shop good causes committee at Bakkavor in West Marsh Road, Spalding, offered £500 towards the piece of equipment, and a mystery benefactor has added a further £1,000.
On the day the appeal was launched, the anonymous donor came into the Spalding Guardian reception planning to give money to the appeal to buy Alice Bates a powered wheelchair.
After hearing that Alice’s appeal had reached its target and being told of Phoebe’s plight, he decided the money should benefit her.
Amanda said: “We are so over the moon to receive these donations. I can’t believe it – it’s fantastic news, and such a relief.”
Amanda and her husband Shaun, who have two other daughters – Anya (10) and Ava (1) – are now hoping to raise the final £600 for the walker before September, when Phoebe is due to move to Willoughby School in Bourne.
The family are also receiving help from national charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children (newlifecharity.co.uk).
The good cause has launched an appeal of its own to help buy Phoebe the walker. A spokesman said: “This kind of equipment really can revolutionise a child’s life.”