A family have been left “overwhelmed” after an appeal to help their disabled daughter’s dreams come true reached its fundraising target in just three days.
Money poured in for spina bifida sufferer Chloe Lewis after her simple wish to ride a bike was featured on the front page of last week’s Citizen and shared on social media.
Due to her condition, the March seven-year-old is confined to a wheelchair outside of her home and physically unable to use a standard bike.
But thanks to kind-hearted readers, the £2,400 needed to buy Chloe a special hand cycle was raised by Friday morning.
Mum Sarah Lewis said: “The response to Chloe’s appeal has been absolutely incredible!
“We are totally overwhelmed and shocked by everyone’s generosity. Words just can’t express how grateful we are to everyone.”
The family received donations from individuals and local businesses and fundraising events have also been planned – with any excess funds now being put towards other equipment Chloe needs, including a bigger wheelchair.
“We were desperate to provide Chloe with the bike she dreamed of so she could go for a ride with friends and family – and now it’s been made possible. She is over the moon.
“Excess funds will go towards her next wheelchair. We always have to find money as she outgrows her equipment, so this will be a massive help,” said Mrs Lewis.
Chloe, who attends March’s Westwood Junior School, 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.
The March Committee for Children’s Charities, which helps local charities and individuals needing equipment, got the ball rolling for Chloe’s appeal, pledging £500 if the family could raise the rest.
Anyone wishing to still make a donation can visit Chloe’s fundraising web page at: http://de.gofund.me/mf2d8w