Hi Sunshine News Readers,
A shorter column than normal this week as some of our team have been enjoying the last week of summer with their families on annual leave.
I think we all certainly needed a short break before September hits us with back-to-school panic and all the excitement of planning for our Christmas appeal this year.
We still wanted to share a lovely family story with you all however, so this week we’d love for you to meet two-year-old Rupert, or Roo, as he is affectionately known to his family.
Rupert has Lissencephaly, a rare condition which affects the development of the brain. He also has global developmental delay, hypertonia, epilepsy and dystonia.
He cannot sit unaided, is unable to crawl or walk and developmentally is around four months old and so is fully dependant on Mum Katy and Dad Phil for all his needs and support.
Rupert has three Brothers, Brandon (18), Casper (five) and Merlin (three months), who have learned to adapt to life with Roo and understand that sometimes he needs more time from Mum and Dad.
His condition means that activities as a family are limited as they try to ensure everyone is happy and involved.
Most of the time, the only place Rupert could be put to relax in the house was on the floor, or sat with his parents, as neither his wheelchair or feeding chair are comfortable enough for him to relax in.
Being on the floor has often meant Rupert has missed out on many simple family activities such as mealtimes or watching TV and so Mum Katy applied to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund for a specialist P-pod chair, costing over £1,000.
Rupert received his chair earlier this year and has already been putting it to good use.
Katy said that it has made such a difference to everyday life. She said: “Rupert can be placed somewhere safely and comfortably to relax during the day and on an evening.
"He is so happy in the chair, we have found him gain a new interest in the TV due to the seat placing him at a good height to see it and he can be involved in all family activities in a comfortable way.
"He has even fallen asleep in the chair, which demonstrates how relaxing he must find it!
"We have also taken him into the garden during some of the nice weather, so he can enjoy the outdoors in a relaxed manner whilst we garden or play.”
We’re thrilled to hear how much the chair has impacted not only Roo’s, but his whole family’s life and it’s incredible to know they can now make happy memories doing the little things that we all maybe take for granted.
If you would like to support children like Rupert, you can find out how to donate via our website, as without your support, we wouldn’t be able to help so many amazing families right here in the North East.