Cambridgeshire girl receives powered wheelchair after fundraising campaign

A disabled five-year-old girl in Cambridgeshire has received her own electric wheelchair after an extensive fundraising campaign, according to Cambridgeshire Live.  

The campaign to provide a wheelchair for Francesca Cirillo, who has spinal muscular atrophy, came after local services did not provide her with one.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Wheelchair Services had said that since she was able to walk a few steps at a time, she did not qualify for a powered wheelchair.

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Domenico Cirillo, Francesca’s father, told Cambridgeshire Live: “She needed an adult to push the manual wheelchair, so for the first few months at reception she chose to stay inside at playtime. It meant she was making relationships with the adults and not her peers.

“We were trying to work out how to address this. The school has been fantastic and offer to run a buddy system – which allows for classmates to stay inside with her during playtime – but the last thing we wanted was for Francesca to feel excluded or different.”

Now, donations from a range of charities including Newlife and Wheels for Martin’s Friends, and from members of the public have helped fund the £11,000 wheelchair, which her family say will give her the independence she needs.

Tags : cambridgeshirepowered wheelchairWheelchair
Patrick Cremona

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