13 Jun Help make Cameron’s day with a special bike
Cameron Clarke would love to ride a bike outdoors with his friends like all other little boys.
Sadly, though, the five-year-old is unable to as he suffers from cerebral palsy which has a great impact on him physically.
Due to his condition he struggles with his balance and has tumbles all the time, meaning he cannot use a regular bike – something which understandably frustrates the little Gateshead lad.
He was diagnosed at just 10 months old but mum Samantha knew something was wrong from the moment he was born.
The 25-year-old said: “He never used his right side so I asked the health visitor about it and took him to the doctors.
“When he was about six months he was referred for physio and then eventually I was told it was cerebral palsy. He had an MRI when he was one which confirmed he had brain tissue missing on his left side which was sending wrong signals to his right side.
“It means he has a weakness on that side and he falls a lot.
“His legs and feet are really bad. He didn’t take any steps until he was three.
“If he goes out anywhere I have to put him in his special pushchair as he cannot walk long distances and he cannot run very far.
“It is just the physical side, everything else is fine. He is so bright, really good at maths and brilliant at reading but he physically cannot keep up with the other kids. It is really frustrating for him.”
He recently underwent botox treatment in a bid to relax the muscles in his left leg and see if that can help him.
Cameron struggles with a lack of confidence when he goes to school at St Joseph’s in Gateshead and shies away from playing outdoors with his classmates out of fear of being knocked over.
Despite his struggles, Cameron is a positive and happy child who always has a smile on his face and tries to put one on everyone else’s – but the one thing whch would complete Cameron’s life is a bike so he can be just like his brother Dylan, four. Samantha said: “His brother has one, all his friends have one and he just feels left out. If he got a specialist bike, it would make him feel more confident because he had something that other people have and he can do it. He would feel like he fit in.”
The specialist trike, which would also help improve his core strength, would cost more than £1,000 – an impossible stretch for single mum Samantha.
That is where The Sunshine Fund comes in. The charity isaiming to raise £60,000 in June to buy specialist equipment needed for North East kids with disabilities.
Cameron has been hand-picked to benefit from the month-long Go Bananas appeal.
Full-time carer Samantha said: “It would just mean the world to us. It would mean him being happy.”
“He’s constantly asking if his bike is ready he just can’t wait. He tells everyone he meets about it and shows them pictures.
“As long as he’s happy, then I am. Him being happy is the most important thing.”