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Annabelle was born prematurely at 28 weeks and suffers with cerebal palsy. She had SDR surgery when she was 3 yrs old for which we fundraised successfully using this wonderful page. Annabelles CP does not affect her intelligence and vocabulary but does affects her fine and gross motor skills, including standing, balancing and walking which can be extremely frustrating for her. In her words "she is always in pain", "something always hurts". Annabelle has been having physio since she was very young and, although it has been very difficult, challenging and not at all fun for her at times, she has perservered with an understanding beyond her years. A few years ago, as she became more self-aware and the reality of her situation began to dawn on her she had some very dark moments and we knew then that we had to find something to ignite a passion in her or there would be some very testing times ahead.
Annabelle has always ridden horses and this has helped her emotional well-being immensely but she is limited to lead rein walk and trot due to her disability. We wanted to find something that would fill her full of excitement, give her an adrenalin buzz, and all of those lovely feelings that young children should feel whilst keeping her safe from harm. We decided against bungee jumping in the end (well I did, my husband and Belles were totally up for it!), and began to explore some of the sports available to children with disabilities on our area. We found a wonderful group who introduced us to framerunning. Secure in the frame, for the first time in her life she could run, use her lungs, and increase her heart rate - and she was good at it!!!
With the continued help and support of her amazing coach and the rest of the group she has competed and won at local and county levels and now has aspirations to go to the Olympics! Her mental well-being and self-confidence have soared and, at 12 years of age, she is excited about her future and has something to share with her peers. We had a framerunner on a rental scheme via CP Sport and she was even able to take the framerunner to school, increasing her fitness and independence and meaning that she did not have to use a wheelchair for longer distances (something she hates!).
However, due to the high demand for framerunners on the rental scheme there is now a waiting list. Framerunners can only be rented for a certain amount of time to give everyone an opportunity to try them and Annabelles rental frame understandably had to be returned. We are on the waiting list again but do not know when one will be available to us. We really would like to raise funds so that she can have her very own frame and we will not be in this situation again, a frame she can use on a day to day basis at home and school and also for training and competitions (and maybe even take to the Olympics one day!).
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story and please do share. Your help, as always, is greatly appreciated.
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