Thank you for taking the time to read this.If you feel able, in any way, to help us we are incredibly humbled and grateful.
I am swallowing my pride and asking for some help to raise £1700 for a powered wheelchair and accessories, for one of my children, Toby.I am embarrassed to have to hold out a begging bowl; as a proud single mum, I have always been able to support my kids.We have tried to claim a benefit called Personal Independent Payment (PIP) for him but even with his medical diagnosis, we are having to take the DWP to tribunal to fight for the financial support he should be entitled to, to help him access equipment and assistance to make his life easier.Isn’t that what “benefits” are for?!Having been trying for 9 months, I cannot wait for this lengthy, bureaucratic process any longer – I have to find a way.
Toby, at the age of 13, was a competitive swimmer.He was within half a second of two different strokes for county qualifying times and trained hard 5 or 6 times a week.Toby developed a common cold but despite that decided to swim a gala.Within 48 hours he couldn’t get out of bed!Having been ill for weeks, he was diagnosed with Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome and ended up missing 41/2 months of school and stayed back an academic year as he couldn’t catch up in time.
4 years on, having never fully recovered, Toby has been diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) which is also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.ME is a horrific illness.It impacts on daily life in a way you would not believe – it’s way more than “that tired thing”.Simplistically explained, when you are ill, the immune system attacks the illness so that you can recover, with ME your immune system thinks that your activity is the illness.Reading, thinking, walking, any activity!This is a 17 minute TED talk which may help you understand it more.
Why does Toby need a wheelchair?
Toby’s world is getting smaller and lonelier.He finds that on days when he can attend college, he cannot walk from his lectures to the library without getting stranded and not have the energy to get back!He stays around his classroom all day as he is unable to go to the shops or café at lunchtime, for example, or even join his friends outside to enjoy the sunshine during breaks.He finds it difficult to go out and about for the day and enjoy time with friends or family, as his energy levels stop him taking part of everyday activities.We’ve found a super little wheelchair (the Pride I-go) that ticks all the boxes.It folds, is light weight and sturdy, best of all it’s compact and would fit in my little car!This fab chair would give him independence and enable him to have a more “normal” life, preserve some energy and aid his recovery. As a mum, all I want is a happier teenager who has a life they can start to enjoy!
Thank you again for considering helping Toby.x