JUST like any other excited youngster, little Chloe Jenkins couldn’t wait to show off her new bike to her friends.
But for the four-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and dystonia, her new set of wheels is more than just a toy.
The schoolgirl, from Castletown, suffers severe mobility problems and frequent muscle spasms.
But now, thanks to a specially-designed tricycle donated by a Wearside charity, she can enjoy playing outside safely, while also improving her balance, posture co-ordination and strength.
Mum Beverley Armstrong, 31, said: “She loves it. Because of her condition, she often finds it hard to pedal and keep her balance, so she needed a specially-designed bike. This is perfect.
“She’s over the moon because she can go out and play with her friends.”
The tricycle was recommended by Chloe’s physiotherapist to improve her development.
Beverley, who is also mother to Caitlin, seven, Brandon, six and Nathan, 15 months, said: “It was a great surprise for her.
“She couldn’t wait to get out on it.”
Last year, Pennywell-based charity Hope4Kidz organised a series of fund-raising events to help buy a specially-designed tandem buggy.
The equipment would allow her to accompany her mum, sister and brothers on regular visits to the shops, park and playground.
However, the family were handed a wheelchair by the NHS after Nathan was diagnosed with a genetic disorder.
As reported in the Echo, the baby has suspected Chromosome Deletion Syndrome, which could see him have developmental problems, severe muscle spasms and visual impairment as he gets older.
Viv Watts, chief executive of the organisation, hailed the appeal a big success.
“Chloe is a happy, delightful little princess who copes with her problems on a daily basis,” she said. “We are delighted to give her the opportunity to have fun and help with her disability.
“Fund-raisers were held last year to help raise funds towards the £3,000 appeal for a special wheelchair for Chloe so the family could all go out together.
“Having two children in separate chairs is very difficult to manage and Chloe’s mother has to have another adult with her to take her children out of the house.
“However, circumstances changed for the family when Nathan, Chloe’s baby brother, was diagnosed with Chromosome Deletion Syndrome and reduced motor skills and the wheelchair is now being provided by NHS.
“To help Chloe in her development and keep her mobility, her physiotherapist suggested we donate a tricycle.”
For more information about the charity, call 534 7788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.