Special help on some specialist equipment

26 Feb Special help on some specialist equipment

A BOY who suffers from cerebral palsy is “excited” to share a new double buggy with his soon-to-be baby brother thanks to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund.

Toby Horner, of Hebburn, needs a specialist pram to get out and about with pregnant mum Tracey but with his sibling set to arrive in May the family were set for problems.

How would 31-year-old Tracey, who doesn’t drive, take both her sons out together while also meeting the physical support needs of her two-year-old?

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The Sunshine Fund – which provides life-changing equipment for children with disabilities in the North East – came to the rescue and is hoping to fund an £800 model for two.

Tracey is a part-time clinical pharmacy technician at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, while her husband Adam, 31, is a Gateshead Council information officer.

Tracey said: “Our experience has been of difficulty with charities because we work and everything is means tested. They think that because we have jobs we have money for specialist equipment for Toby but unfortunately that is not the case.

“We were recommended the Sunshine Fund as an organisation that places priority on the child rather than the parents, and earlier this year applied for financial support after we researched what would be best for our family.”

The new buggy will include extra long seats and extra support to help Toby’s posture.

Tracey added: “This will make a huge difference to family life. Having a two-year-old who is not mobile and a newborn will be very tough but this will mean I can take them out together and I know Toby will love sitting next to his brother and interacting with him. He is very excited.”

The money is set to be raised at tomorrow night’s Glass Slipper Awards, which celebrates inspirational women across the region while raising money for the charity.

Staff from headline sponsor Gordon Brown Law Firm met the Horner family last week.

Wendy Peffers, the company’s marketing manager, said: “Toby is an amazing little boy who faces many challenges on a daily basis. We were delighted to meet him and his family, and be able to support them with new equipment from funds raised at the Glass Slipper Award.”

Clare Savory, events manager at The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, added: “The new specialised buggy will make a real difference to the family.”

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