A NINE-year-old girl living with life-altering conditions has received a donation to help her to continue to ‘defy the odds’.
Erin D’Arcy, from Long Itchington, has a rare chromosomal condition called Trisomy 9p along with Léri-Weill dyschondrosteosis which affects bone growth.
As a result, she has other health issues including with her heart and she is unable to speak and can only walk a few steps at a time.
The pupil, at Evergreen School in Warwick, is able to get out and about in an off-road buggy that her parents bought themselves in 2019.
And, thanks to Warwickshire-based property firm The Wigley Group, Erin will be able to enjoy even more days out with her family.
The family was handed a £1,267 grant from the Wigley Community Fund to buy accessories for the buggy, including beach wheels and a bike trailer – opening up more possibilities for Erin to enjoy days out with parents Suzanne and Simon and younger sister Edith.
Suzanne said: “Erin faces many battles every day, however she remains upbeat, mischievous and happy, and continues to defy the odds.
“There is some financial support available to us, but we have to self-fund most of the things that improve Erin’s quality of life, so the grant from the Wigley Community Fund will make a big difference and we are all very grateful.
“Erin’s sister learnt how to ride her bike in lockdown so one of the items the grant will pay for will be a bike trailer so she can join us on family bike rides, and while we’ve taken Erin to the seaside many times, having the wheels would be a huge help in getting her on the beach.”
The grant will also pay for a new iPad and a specialist holder to help keep Erin entertained during the long periods of time she spends in her buggy.
Suzanne added: “Erin can only walk short distances and due to her very limited understanding of her surroundings she needs to be in her chair for her own safety. As she gets older and heavier, she will unfortunately have to spend more and more time seated in her chair, so as well as providing entertainment for her there are apps that she can use on the iPad to help her communicate her wants and wishes, which is so important for her to be able to do.”
The grant scheme was established by The Wigley Group to share £10,000 every year among individuals and groups based within a five-mile radius of its headquarters in Stockton.
Fund chairman James Davies said: “We set up our community fund with the express purpose of making a meaningful contribution to improving the lives of local people, whether that’s through one of the many community groups or by directly supporting an individual.
“This is the first grant that we’ve awarded a grant to an individual, and one that has a special significance because it will mean that Erin can enjoy doing some of the things with her family that many others take for granted.”
The Wigley Group has evolved from its beginnings as an agricultural plant hire company, established in 1964 by John Wigley, father of company chairman, Robert.