The Newman family of Truro can now go cycling together, thanks to the wishgranting charity, Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, who have provided them with a specially adapted bike for wheelchair users.
Now parents Chaz and Karen, and their daughters, 10-year-old Chloe and 15-year-old Amy who has Rett Syndrome and is confined to a wheelchair, are looking forward to warmer weather to take to the cycling trails.
Make-A-Wish is the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening illnesses, recognising how important it is for families caring for a loved one to spend quality time together.
The family learned on Christmas Eve that their wish had been granted, and the Duet Wheelchair Tandem supplied by London Recumbents arrived last week.
“I was in tears when we learned on Christmas Eve that we were to get the bike. It was absolutely wonderful news,” said Karen.
“The bike arrived last Wednesday but because it is so cold we’ve only been out front with Amy once – all wrapped up – to try it out and she loved it.”
Other than when on holiday at Centre Parcs, the family last went cycling together when the girls were small enough to fit into a cycle trailer.
“We first first saw the Duet Wheelchair Tandem at Centre Parcs and we hired it. Amy loved the feel of the wind in her face.
“We immediately wondered where we could get a tandem like that. It costs £4,500. Then friends told us to write to charities, and I looked on the Internet and saw “Make-A-Wish”.
“We applied last November and our wish was granted on Christmas Eve. I still cannot believe it.”
The Newmans have been keen cyclists for years, and Chaz has ridden many charity rides. But as a family they stayed most on cycling trails, like the Bisoe Trail and Camel Trail, but their trips have been restricted through necessity.
“Make-A-Wish have granted us a new lease of life,” said Karen.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
The tandem is so designed so that wheelchair on the front can be detached and used independently.
When Amy’s younger sister Chloe heard the wish was being granted she was completely choked and said: “We can now do things with Amy. We can’t thank Make-A-Wish enough.
“This has made such a huge difference to our lives, now and for years and years to come. Amy will benefit so much from this wish as it means we get to spend quality time together as a whole family.”
A spokesperson for the charity said: “A wish can bring joy to a whole family, as well as lifting the spirits of a deserving child, by giving the family memories to treasure for a lifetime.”
To refer a child for a special wish or make a donation, please telephone 01276 40 50 60 or visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk