Spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy causes muscle stiffness and tightness, particularly when trying to move them quickly, in two limbs. The legs are the most commonly affected area. Jude’s Cerebral Palsy affects his ability to walk. While he is currently learning to use a walker, he mostly gets around by crawling or being pushed in a wheelchair.

Jude also has learning delays, which make it difficult for him to understand instructions. His mum, Nicola, said:

His mobility issues make it difficult for Jude to explore the world the way a five-year-old usually does, and he gets frustrated at being restricted and not having the freedom to go where he wants when we are outside. As a family, we are generally restricted on where we can go on days out and as a result, we don’t go out as often as we would like to.

As Jude was growing and getting heavier, it was becoming more difficult for his family to push him in his wheelchair. He trialled the Tiny Trax powered wheelchair, which would allow him to move around independently without needing help from a carer.

The family learnt about Variety after the trial and we were able to provide funding for the new wheelchair.

Nicola said:

The wheelchair has made a real difference to our lives. It is great offroad, so we are able to go for walks through woodland areas and in muddy parks. It’s opened up a lot more opportunities for us to go out as a family.

Jude is mastering the controls and has gained independence to explore without having to rely on being pushed by a carer. We’re hoping to get out a lot more now the weather has warmed up and to find new places and experiences for Jude.

Nicola is keenly aware that Cerebral Palsy is a little understood condition, which often makes it more difficult for Jude and his family in society. She said:

Cerebral Palsy affects all children and adults in different ways and is a lifelong condition with no cure. It’s taken a lot of mental and physical strength as a family to learn how to get the most out of life for Jude and ourselves. It is a constant struggle, which is not getting any easier as Jude gets bigger and heavier!

We’re eternally grateful for the help from Variety to provide funding towards equipment that really does improve the quality of life for children with disabilities.