CEREBRAL palsy tot Grace Knighton will have an amazing Christmas Day when Santa Claus brings her a special trike so she can cycle alongside her sister, Megan.
The three-year-old identical twins had to fight for life when they were born 11 weeks early in November 2008 and spent their first Christmas in special care in hospital.
Megan, who is now developing normally, weighed in at less than a bag of sugar – 1lb 14oz – and Grace was tiny too at 2lb 11oz.
The premature twins were born by emergency Caesarian section in Peterborough.
Birth complications, including starvation of oxygen, led to Grace being diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one and that means she can’t do many of the things that Megan can.
Their mum, Helen, said: “Grace has a very weak trunk, poor co-ordination and balance, and limited use of her legs. She is unable to walk but has just started to crawl.”
On a visit to Santa, both girls asked for bikes for Christmas.
But that gave Helen (24) and husband Andrew (36) a big problem because they could not afford the £1,000-plus brand new cost of the special trike with spinal support and ‘foot sandals’ which Grace needs.
The Whaplode Drove couple sourced a secondhand, pink Theraplay Imp for £350 but that too was out of reach for a family with just one parent working.
So The Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund stepped in to buy the trike using cash donated by you, our generous Free Press and Spalding Guardian readers.
Helen cried tears of joy when we broke the news.
She said: “Thank you so much. Grace will be able to go out with her sister on Christmas day. I really didn’t expect it.
“I just think she’s going to be the same as everybody else this Christmas.
“All of her little friends are getting bikes. I know she is absolutely going to love it.
“It would be very hard for Megan to have a bike without Grace having one.”
Andrew works as a maintenance engineer at the Debenhams warehouse in Peterborough and Helen is a full-time carer for Grace as well as being mum to the twins and four-month-old Connor.
Helen still has a constant round of hospital visits with Grace and life is a struggle financially.
She said: “My carer’s allowance doesn’t even cover my petrol to and from hospital appointments.”