Hope 4 Kidz launched an appeal for £75,000 to support Matthew's Milestone Appeal for Matthew Brettell aged 9 from Sunderland, Matthew has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscle wasting disorder, affecting about 1500 boys in the UK. Boys affected by DMD first start to show signs of muscle weakness about the age of 3 years, and by 12 years they are unable to walk. By their late teens, the condition is life threatening, as the muscles used for breathing become weaker.
There is no cure for DMD at the moment, although physiotherapy and exercise can help counteract the effects of the muscle weakening.
In 2013 Matthew was diagnosed with DMD at the age of 7 and a half. As Matthew was older than most other boys diagnosed with the same condition and his prognosis to be wheelchair bound at around 11 years of age, time was running out for the family to make the urgently needed adaptations to their home.
To help Matthew, his house needs a huge amount of adaptations to accommodate the amount of medical equipment needed both in his bedroom and bathroom as well as the rest of the house to support him to live as independently as possible for as long as possible and still be part of the family.
To enter the house Matthew cannot manage the 6 very high steps to enter the hall. therefore a ramp needs building at the front of the house as well as the front door widened along with all of the internal doors. Once inside the hall Matthew cannot use a manual wheelchair as there is not enough room to manoeuvre into the living room or the kitchen/ dinette. To enter the back garden from the kitchen, there is a drop of around 10 foot staircase. Matthew now needs to use an electric wheelchair which is left at his school, as this also is too big for the house. Matthew's parents have to carry him up the stairs to his bedroom and to use the bathroom and the only toilet.
Matthew is already relying more on his electric wheelchair at school as his calves are becoming enlarged and his legs are becoming to stiff to walk. Matthew sees each day as a new beginning. He is an amazing little boy with a huge amount of courage and personality.
Fitz Architects in Sunderland has created the plans and designed the adaptations for the house pro bono. The plans have now been submitted to the local planning department in Sunderland. We have also secured £30,000 Disability Financial Grant and have raised just over £30,000 from events and fundraising. We also have some gifts in kind on hold ready for the build from local businesses. We are so close to our target and now so close to starting the build to help this amazing young boy.
If you wish to support Matthew there are many ways you can do this, please contact the office for more information.
Wearside toddler Hannah McDonald was chosen as the first individual beneficiary of Hope 4 Kidz and in 2007 was gifted with a fibre optic lily pad to help improve her quality of life.
Hannah is one of only 65 children in the world to suffer with Chromosome Deletion Syndrome, relating to chromosome number 22, which means she suffers from a variety of developmental defects in several of the body’s major organs, as well as developmental delays and learning disabilities.
By the time she was two years old Hannah had already undergone five major operations, including two for open heart surgery tackling the congenital heart disease she suffers as a direct result of the chromosome deletion.
The fire-optic lily pad, which costs hundreds of pounds, is specifically designed to stimulate Hannah’s sense with the aid of fibre-optic lights and has had a marked and positive impact on improving her social interaction and body movement.
For more about Chromosome Deletion and Hannah’s story check out our links page.
Carlisle youngster Georgia Louise Johnston received a monetary donation from Hope 4 Kidz in 2008 after the charity received a heartfelt application from her mum Sarah Jane.
Georgia first showed signs of autism after being given the Measles, Mumps and Rubella jab at 18 months old but wasn’t officially diagnosed until she was four.
Georgia’s twin sister Kyla also suffers from learning difficulties but has adapted much more easily and by the time she was two had begun to move ahead of Georgia who is much more introverted.
Now, aged 11, Georgia is showing signs of improvement, but still suffers difficulties with her speech.
The monetary contribution from Hope 4 Kidz will be put towards a second visit to the Kaufman Speech Centre, in Michigan, USA, which worked wonders for Georgia when she first visited in 2004.
For more about Autism and the Kaufman Speech Centre visit our links page.
In Summer 2009, Hope 4 Kidz gave Sunderland youngster Annabelle Urch a safe place to play, by making over the family’s dangerous and
7 year old Annabelle suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as chromosome number two deletion, which means she is missing that particular chromosome from within her DNA.
As a direct result of the condition, Annabelle suffers from a wide variety of different illnesses including epilepsy, low muscle tone and a heart murmur, for which she sees 13 specialist consultants, including a paediatrician and physiotherapist.
In 2008 Annabelle’s parents moved from their long-term home in East Herrington to a bungalow in Seaburn, where Annabelle could enjoy more freedom to walk around. Unfortunately the bungalow was extremely run-down, which was why the family were able to afford it in the first place and the garden of the property was completely unusable – as you can see on the pictures below.
Hope 4 Kidz made Annabelle the main beneficiary of the 70s Funky Friday event in April 09 and raised enough funds to give the family garden a complete makeover.
The centrepiece of the new garden is a two-storey playhouse with a door and window that can be removed and replaced with larger door as Annabelle gets older and grows in height.
The playhouse, which can comfortably accommodate Annabelle and up to three of her friends, was erected free of charge by MGT Landscaping of Pallion and sits on top of concrete paving stones which were also supplied for free by the firm.
The rest of the garden has been turfed so that Annabelle can run around in safety and not risk hurting herself too badly if she falls over. The turf was purchased by Hope 4 Kidz on a discounted rate from Thompsons Building Centres and was laid by volunteers from Sunderland-based environmental charity CEED - Community Environmental Education Developments.
For more about Chromosome Deletion and Annabelle’s story check out our links pages.
Sisters Neve and Drew Turner, who both suffer from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), were given a fun-filled day at a theme park after being chosen as Hope 4 Kidz beneficiaries.
CF is a life-threatening disease which affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus, making it hard to breathe and digest food.
Neve was diagnosed with the disease first after she suffered gastroenteritis and failed to get better in 2005. Further investigations showed that Drew also had the disease, falling victim to a one in 625 chance that both would inherit the condition from their parents.
In 2008, Hope 4 Kidz offered Drew and Neve a chance to meet their music idols Girls Aloud at the Beamish Summer Festival. When the concert was cancelled due to severe bad weather, the charity used proceeds from the 2008 Caribbean Dreams Ball to send the family on an all-expenses paid trip to Alton Towers.
Phillippa said: "To be able to go and stay at Alton Towers is something we would never have been able to do on our own because it’s so expensive. Thanks to Hope 4 Kidz the girls had a great time. Neve absolutely loved the roller coasters and Drew really enjoyed swimming at Splashland where we stayed."
For more about Cystic Fibrosis and the Turners’ story check out our links pages
In August 2015 over 380 children and their families attended a free family fun day held at The Golden Lion, South Hylton. On the day there was a disco, petting zoo, rides, arts and crafts, face painters, carnival games and much much more. We are hoping to hold another event this year so please check out our events page for more information.
Since 2007 over 2500 children and their families have attend the free Christmas party. The party is four hours of mayhem each year with balloon artist's, bouncy castle, buffet, petting zoo, face painters and so much more. To find out if your child is eligible to attend this amazing day please don't hesitate to contact our office.
Since 2008, 6008 children have been supported with Easter Eggs and sweets. We have supported Sunderland Royal Hospital, Newcastle Hospital, South Tyneside Hospital, woman's refuges around the North East, children's services and many more.