March girl’s dreams come true thanks to generous donations

Spina bifida sufferer Chloe Lewis picks up her new custom-built hand cycle.
Spina bifida sufferer Chloe Lewis picks up her new custom-built hand cycle.

pedal power

Confined to a wheelchair outside of her home and unable to ride a standard bike due to suffering from spina bifida, all eight-year-old Chloe wanted to do was ride a bike with her family and friends.

Now the cheery eight-year-old can do just that – thanks to generous donors.

Money for the £2,500 special hand cycle was raised for Chloe in just three days after her simple wish was featured on the front page of the Fenland Citizen and shared on social media back in March.

Now after a four-month wait to have the bike made, Chloe and her family were finally able to pick it up from the manufacturers on Friday.

Mum and dad Sarah and Jonathan Lewis, from March, said Chloe was over the moon.

Sarah said on Friday: “A few months ago some very kind people helped my daughter raise the money she needed to get her custom-built handcycle.

“Today, after a long wait we have finally collected her beautiful bike and I have one very happy little princess.

“I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated, shared and supported our cause. We are so very grateful.”

Sarah shared the family’s news on Facebook’s March Free Discussion page, in a post that was liked by more than 360 people.

Well-wishers said they were delighted for Chloe and couldn’t wait to seeing her whizzing about on her new bike.

One woman said Chloe’s smile was “priceless” and there was even an offer of more help for Chloe in future from the One Stop shop in Maple Grove, March.

Money for Chloe’s appeal poured in from individuals, local businesses and organisations including the March Committee for Children’s Charities, which pledged £500 to the cause.

Excess funds raised will be put towards other specialist equipment for Chloe, including a bigger wheelchair as she grows up.

A pupil of Westwood Junior School, March, which will become Westwood Primary from September, Chloe was diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus – fluid on the brain – before her birth in April, 2007.

She underwent nine operations by the age of three-months and due to spinal cord damage, resulting from the spina bifida, she has a lack of sensation and muscle tone in her legs affecting her mobility.

She is able to walk indoors with the aid of splints, leg strapping and physiotherapy, but outside she has to use a wheelchair.

Her condition also affects her bladder and bowels and, because of the hydrocephalus, she has a shunt fitted in her brain to drain off excess fluid and stop a dangerous build-up.

Anyone wishing to support Chloe can still do so through her fundraising page at: http://de.gofund.me/mf2d8w