Gemmas Electric Wheelchair Fund Story

by Shaun atkinson December 14, 2017

Gemmas Electric Wheelchair Fund Story

Hello! My name is Gemma Roberts and I'm 24 years old. I’m in need of some help to get access to a much needed folding electric wheelchair.

At only 10 months old, I was contracted with a medical condition named Cervical Transverse Mylietis. This is a rare neurological condition and is caused by an inflammation in the spinal cord. It affects me by causing all 4 limbs of my body to have a degree of paralysis in them, with the highest level of being in my upper limbs. I’ve had this condition pretty much all my life, so I would class this as a defining trait of myself. I have never asked or wanted for sympathy though and have always been rising above it with fierce determination!

Honestly, it has taken a heavy blow to my pride to have to set up this page, however I have no option but to ask you beautiful people to lend a helping hand so I can gain my independence back through this truly life changing piece of equipment. Let me tell you the full story before you decide to donate: 
1) From the end of last year, just before Christmas (of all times!), the recent cuts to government funding for disabled people have hit me extremely hard! 
First of all, wheelchair services decided to come and do a service of my NHS electric wheelchair, which I have been using from the young age of just 7 years old. They found that I could not store it properly in my tiny house and upon inspection they made the assumption that I did not need it anymore due to it’s battery malfunctioning. When asking them to replace this, I was then told that the wheelchair and battery had become obsolete; they revoked the wheelchair and told me that I would need to re-apply for a new one if I wanted one through the NHS scheme. As we all know, the recent cut backs to the NHS and its services has left me and a lot of other people to become stranded – what I mean by this, is that waiting lists for any form of walking aid have now become extremely long and for my area I would be looking at waiting for a minimum of 5 years! This is an excessive amount of time for me to be waiting when I am so young and wanting to start my own working life. 
2) This left me no other option but to attend NHS physiotherapy services to try and improve my mobility without the use of any kind of aid. Again, this service had to eventually come to an end; the one service available in my area became overused and waiting lists were shooting through the roof. This meant that I was deemed as a less worthy client, even though I very much needed it to continue! 
3) Then to hit me when I'm down, the government also decided to cut my ESA (employment support allowance) resulting in a £300 per month loss in income. This has meant that my poor boyfriend has had to take up extra hours at work in order to make up the financial loss on my part. We cannot afford to miss a single rent payment in my privately rented property as we have no guarantee of other accommodation to suit my physical needs, and as ever there are seemingly countless bills to pay on top of that! It makes me feel so guilty, and like I can no longer equally contribute my part to the household, let alone treat him to a simple date night for everything that he does for me.

And so the reason I am asking for your donations today is to help with gaining back the independence that a treasure so much. I fully believe that I am capable of easing the pressures of life by working, and earning my own way in society… but I need someone to believe in me. I know my chances of attaining work would dramatically improve if I were able to turn up to interviews in my own electric wheelchair, rather than relying on a carer to push me in. In my mind, and probably employers minds too, having to rely on someone to push me around is the opposite of being the independent worker.

I have recently found the perfect chair for me by ‘Better Products for Disabled People’. It has some amazing abilities and for me, it would be incredibly liberating. It can travel over all terrains, from rocky cobbles to smooth inclines of grass! With 5 gears and suspension it can tackle hills at (12 degree?) incline. That would mean no more tired out carers from pushing me up big hills! But overall, what makes this chair the only one for me is its capability to fold away and be stored in the boot of my car whilst the batteries charge inside the house, THAT’S RIGHT IT HAS DETATCHABLE BATTERIES! I can actually charge it in my house this time!

I made you guys a short video to show off the chairs capabilities. Check it out here:

Unfortunately though, at over £2,000 and no finance plans available, this up to date wheelchair is not available on the National Health Service as it is classed as a “luxury item”, so I need to try to raise the money myself to fund it. After looking at alternative wheelchairs, it’s become apparent to me that this one is the only one I truly feel free and accommodated in. It really is incredible. 
Check it out here: 

http://www.betterproductsfordisabledpeople.com/product/bpdp-10j-folding-electric-wheelchair-black/ 

I’m looking to part – fund the wheelchair myself with whatever fundraising events I can manage, but with all the cuts affecting me right now it is hopeless for me to achieve alone. So any donation -big or small- you could make would make me eternally grateful!

Well I think that’s all folks! I would just like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I would be more than happy to buy every single one of you a drink (alcoholic or not) to say “CHEERS!

Shaun atkinson
Shaun atkinson

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