A Northamptonshire community has thrown its support behind a five-year-old's fundraising drive and has helped to raise £4,065 to help disabled and terminally ill children in the county.
Max Brennan, 5, of Brixworth has a complex genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome that affects his joints, along with tibial torsion, which makes it difficult for him to walk.
After receiving funding support from the Newlife charity, who help disabled children, Max took delivery of his £2,750 wheelchair earlier this month.
In a bid to pay thanks, Max's family set out to raise money by taking part in the Milton Keynes ‘Superhero’ fun run and hosted a charity BBQ.
Emma Brennan, Max's mum, said: "Around 120 people turned up to our family garden barbeque and raffle and as a result of all this we have been able to donate £4,065 to Newlife to help other children with disabilities, like Max, in Northamptonshire.”
“Some days he can walk and run around like other children his age, but for Max, this is short lived. He tires very easily and gets severe pain in his bones and joints, which means that other days just walking and holding himself up is too hard and has multiple falls and accidents.
"His condition is particularly affected by the weather, time of day and medication plays a big part in how his body feels so when it’s cold or wet he struggles to walk any distance and it was becoming increasingly obvious that he would need wheelchair support. A wheelchair will enable him to be independent and pace himself better.”
Since 2012, colleagues and customers at Central England Co-operative stores have raised £1.3million for Newlife, "every penny of which is being directly spent on providing specialist equipment for disabled and terminally ill children in the retailer’s trading area," bosses say.
Emma added: “He doesn’t qualify for local statutory services to even get an assessment of his needs, so we approached Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children for help. They had previously given us a mobility buggy suitable for older children to help get Max out and about, but a self-propelling wheelchair is what he needs as he progresses.”
Newlife is the UK’s largest charity provider of specialist equipment for children with disabilities and terminal illness and has helped 233 under-19s in Northamptonshire.