On Saturday 4th March after we had handed over the equipment to the Lancaster Bulldogs Wheelchair Basketball Club, we had a nice surprise as Gracie Ann Fletcher and her family came to the centre as well.
Gracie-ann is 6 years old and she is the bravest little girl ever. She was born 9 1/2 weeks early and spent nearly 10 weeks in a special care baby unit and She was born with a very rare genetic disorder called Microduplication.
Gracie has a long list of medical complaints, including scoliosis, spina bifida, epilepsy and a heart condition. She also has multiple congenital abnormalities to her spinal cord and vertebra including a hemevertebra also known as butterfly vertebra.
Gracie also has something called VACTERAL syndrome, a neuropathic bladder and 3 kidneys instead of 2, a hip displacia, various bones in her body have not formed properly (for instance her knees and feet are "wonky") and her 1 thumb is in fact a finger and not attached.
Paula Morgan, who has been heavily involved with organising parts of the 20/20 challenge days, approached us and explained the situation of Gracie-Ann and her Piedro boots which are special to her.
Alyesha Fletcher, Gracie-Ann's mum, informed us that -
'She has alot of learning difficulties and is going through the process of a health care plan (formally known as statementing) to be able to access extra funding for more help in school. She has to wear special shoes called Peidro shoes to help turn her feet back to the position they should be in. They are hoping that in turn it will turn her knees as well, as the only other option for Gracie is surgery which would mean they would have to break her legs and reset them every 4-6 weeks for up to 2 years, which is a barbaric solution in my eyes.'
Myself and Gav were then informed that these Piedro trainers Gracie-Ann needs are £150 pound a pair and she has only 1 pair due to the cost.
As ever emails and phone calls to Piedro themselves allowed us to liaise with Charlotte Vickers the customer service advisor who has been so supportive and understanding with the 20/20 challenge and what we wanted to do to help Gracie-Ann.
Charlotte spoke to her Directors who not only agreed to provide a pair of trainers of her choice, BUT also a pair of Sandals which she has never owned. Charlotte then explained that the sandals she needs, they don’t have any in stock…….. So they made some especially for Gracie-Ann…..WOW!
So on Saturday we presented Gracie-Ann with her Piedro Tainers, pink and white of course for a special little girl.
BUT then we also surprised her with her Sandals which only arrived the day before which mum had no idea about.
Her face lit up the gym as we presented her with the trainers and sandals.
Thank you to Charlotte Vickers form Piedro and of course Piedro themselves for their amazing support.