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Footy-mad dad needs funds for new wheelchair

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A FATHER with multiple sclerosis is appealing for help to buy a stand-up wheelchair so he can be more involved with raising his daughter.

Gary Allen, 52, who lives in Silverdale Drive, Sompting, with his wife Dawn and daughter Chelsea, needs £14,000 to buy the hi-tech chair that will get him upright again.

Sitting all day is taking its toll on Gary’s health, and is making it hard for him to look after five-year-old Chelsea, who has autism.

Being upright would allow him do things most dads take for granted, like reaching the medicine cabinet, doing the supermarket shopping and pushing his daughter on the swings.

“I’m fed up of people seeing my bald spot,” joked the 6ft 2in tall Chelsea fan.

“And I’ll be able to see where Dawn hasn’t dusted.”

Dawn has set up a fundraising page to help raise money and awareness.

On it she writes: “You don’t understand how important it is to stand up until you have to sit down all day.”

The new chair will help improve Gary’s muscle tone, core strength, his digestive system and bowel health.

Ultimately it will help him to enjoy a better quality of life with his family.

“It will help him to be a part of the family rather than sitting on the sidelines watching,” writes Dawn.

“How would you feel if it was you?”

The family has just received a huge boost from the Worthing branch of Scope, who pledged £1,500, bringing the total raised in the first three weeks of the campaign up to £2,160, around 15 per cent of the target amount.

Worthing Scope chief executive Pauline Fox said: “It’s a very worthwhile cause. They have a very stressful family situation with Gary’s disability and Chelsea’s autism, and they deserve all the support they can get.”

Dawn described the donation from Worthing Scope as ‘terrific’ and said another £500 donation from a friend had given the family ‘a real boost’.

Gary is a keen bowls player, and has a carer to take him out, but as his personal-care needs have increased, there is less money available for his social activities, meaning he only gets out for three to four hours a week.

“It will definitely help me get out and about more often,” said Gary.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting the fundraising page at www.gofundme.com/9ph11k

The chair, a LEVO C3, will allow Gary to go from sitting to a standing position at the touch of a button.

A fundraising car-boot sale and fun day is being held on Saturday, June 28, at Palatine School in Palatine Road, Worthing, at 10.30am.

 

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