When five friends set out on the trek from Eastbourne Pier to Hastings Pier last Saturday it was all in aid of a very good cause.
Ewa Patmore, Adrian Ford-Crush, Andrea Baldry along with Jane and Emma Howard Smith completed their marathon walk in aid of the crowdfunding appeal to replace Esther Fox’s broken wheelchair.
They set off from Eastbourne at 10am and arrived in Hastings to the popping of corks and a fanfare at Hastings Pier at just after 4pm.
The walk was a huge success and has raised public awareness of their cause and it has brought the £14,000 target to buy Esther the new chair she desperately needs within reach and they’ve sent a big message of thanks to everyone who has donated so far.
You can still donate on the GoFundMe page at: https://gf.me/u/yj7vmk
In the last year due to problems with her current wheelchair Esther has been unable to access places she has previously enjoyed and her independence has been severely restricted.
Esther explains: “I have been a wheelchair user all my life due to a muscle wasting condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I use the term ‘user’ because I see my chair as a tool that I use to enable me to fully participate in life. I am not ‘bound’ or ‘confined’ to a chair, because it should be there to ensure I can be as independent as possible.”
Her life has been recently affected by a malfunctioning wheelchair that can be dangerous. It was provided by the NHS but has never really worked properly. While the NHS can take it away to get it looked at they cannot leave her with a replacement and as Esther works full time and this would make her working life impossible.
A new chair is around £14,000 and, if there is any money left over after fundraising, that will be donated to ‘Designability’ an organisation that has designed the Wizzybug, a wheelchair specifically for under fives.