Help Phoebe fund her new wheelchair

An eight-year-old girl who has defied the odds to not only walk, but also dance, now needs help funding an electric wheelchair for when she becomes tired.

Phoebe Roberts age 8 EMN-211122-105912001

Phoebe Roberts, from Tattershall, was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (a build up of fluid on the brain), and had her first surgery when she was just three days old and was not expected to even walk.

She has limited feeling in her legs and feet, but her mum Rebecca said she was determined to walk, which she did by the time she was three years old.

Rebecca said that Phoebe continues to defy the odds and whenever she goes for her hospital appointments, the doctors still are amazed she’s even walking, let alone dancing.

L- R Kaitlyn age 11, Oliver age 16, Phoebe age 8 Mum Rebecca Roberts EMN-211122-105901001

“Phoebe said she wanted to do gymnastics, and she did for a time before she was advised to stop because it made her too tired and she was advised against it,” she said.

“Then she said she wanted to do ballet - she’s quite unsteady on her feet and falls over, but we found Dance 10 in Horncastle and Jacqui [Boddy, principal of the school] was happy to take her on and was very inclusive, and Phoebe has come on in leaps and bounds since then.”

Jacqui said that Phoebe is a fantastic student at her dance classes and works so hard:

“She’s an incredibly dedicated dancer and her balance has really improved over time,” she said, “You can see she loves her dancing and she’s done so well.”

“Everyone who meets her says how positive she is, and she doens’t let anything stop her,” added Rebecca, who also works long hours as a carer.

But now Phoebe, who also lives with her dad Mark, sister Kaitlyn and brother Oliver, has further challenges ahead of her, as she has scoliosis and will need three risky surgeries in the future, which could leave her paralysed from the waist down.

She also needs a new wheelchair, an electric one, as the manual wheelchair is difficult for her to use as she is fast outgrowing it since she has had the same wheelchair since she was two years old.

But she is not eligible for the wheelchair on the NHS as she can walk, and she still uses her manual one.

So now the family have embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise the £8,500 needed to purchase Phoebe’s new electric wheelchair themselves.

A spokesman for NHS Lincolnshire CCG said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases, but each child with health and/or care needs beyond what is provided by statutory (standard) health and care services will be assessed individually by a multidisciplinary care team to establish care needs, including the need for any specialised equipment which needs to be provided by health services.”

Dance 10 will be hosting their annual dance show on Saturday December 11, which is be a fundraiser towards Phoebe’s appeal, and will take place at Dance 10’s studio on South Street.

Rebecca has also extended her thanks to SHINE, the spina bifida and hydrocephalus charity who have supported their whole family since Phoebe’s diagnosis.

Tattershall Farm Park will also be hosting a fundraising raffle on December 12, and prizes.

To make a donation towards Phoebe’s wheelchair appeal, visit their JustGiving page here

To keep up to date on Phoebe’s progress, visit www.facebook.com/Phoebes-story-103575085109794