New wheels, new life!

Marcia Shaw, 13 with parents Andy Shaw with Yukon and Natalie Shaw with Brendon
Marcia Shaw, 13 with parents Andy Shaw with Yukon and Natalie Shaw with Brendon
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No wonder teenager Marcia Shaw and her parents are all smiles.

Thanks to a charity, Marcia now has a vital piece of high-tech equipment which has made a big difference to family life.

The 13-year-old, from Cleveleys, has Sticklers Syndrome – a progressive disorder which causes visual, hearing and joint problems.

She is able to enjoy new freedom and independence after disability charity, The Newlife Foundation, helped her get a new powered, lightweight wheelchair.

Before, Marcia had a heavy manual chair, from statutory services, but because she has severe arthritis in all her joints, she was not able to move it herself. She had to rely on friends, family and teaching staff at school to get around on a daily basis.

And it was made even more difficult for her parents, as they are both registered blind and use guide dogs.

Marcia’s mum Natalie Shaw said: “I am totally blind and my husband Andy is registered blind, but can see a bit. Both of us have a guide dog, so pushing Marcia’s old wheelchair was not easy for us.

“Getting it on and off public transport was even harder.

“Our local authority had said it would take three to five years before Marcia could go on the waiting list for a powered wheelchair. So our occupational therapist recommended we get in touch with Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children.”

Newlife Foundation supports families of disabled and terminally ill children, through a range of practical support services.

The charity awarded Marcia and her family a £6,499 equipment grant – enabling her to buy the wheelchair she so badly needed. Natalie said: “Marcia was able to trial the new wheelchair, which is amazingly light.

“She couldn’t wait to take delivery. Marcia is able to get around more easily at school, because previously she had to wait until a member of staff was available to help her.

“And at home, it means we can go on more walks and trips out together as a family.

“It will make a big difference to us all. Receiving the wheelchair hasn’t just changed Marcia’s life – but our family life too.”

Last year, the Newlife charity provided 58 equipment grants in Lancashire alone, at a cost of £86,649. Across the UK, applications were up 33 per cent in 2013.

The charity is looking for Fylde coast heroes who can help boost its fundraising.

Visit www.newlifecharity.co.uk or call 0800 988 4640. Anyone who needs help from the charity can call 0800 902 0095 or email nurses@newlifecharity.co.