Katie's Diary

ubu's Christmas Sparkle Event 2018 Day 5

14th December 2018

What an amazing fifth day to our Christmas Sparkle events hosted by the fantastic team members from the East Midlands, they even managed to bring Santa along too, we couldn't believe it! We had such a fun time trying to find the cheeky elf's that were hidden around the room and were amazed by a peculiar hardstyle version of 'We Wish you a Merry Christmas'! It certainly had everyone jumping though!

Todays Christmas Sparkle was for a young girl named Leonie:

Leonie was born 11 weeks premature, not an easy start in life and at one years old was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, which affected all four of her limbs. Although Leonie did not meet all the usual milestones she created friendships and had a smile on her face every day to push through her battle and keep up with her friends. Her family also battled to keep up with her ever changing health requirements so she could live an equal life.

The key to helping Leonie long-term was an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy also known as SDR, along with a lifetime of physiotherapy and support. But Leonie’s family were informed they would need to raise at least £35,000 to have this. 

Leonie’s family is not a rich family and live in a small Lincolnshire village close to the east coast. They certainly don’t have a spare £35,000 laying around despite knowing the difference it would make to Leonie or as they like to call her “Chili Bean”. But they still began raising money which was embraced by the Louth community in which she lives. It's a small community with a massive heart and determined people who unite and are generous to their own .

Leonie and her family only live just down the street from one of our services and her grandma lives next door so when we started talking about our Christmas Sparkle she was high up on our nomination list, not forgetting the connection she made with the People We Serve due to raising money for her previously. We were informed that Leonie only uses a walking frame to walk and has all the equipment to aid her mobility when she's out and about. 

Despite the equipment she is surrounded in on a daily basis the things that people really remember about Leonie are her smile and the warm relentless sound of her laughter and giggles she makes throughout any situation she finds herself in. We asked her family what would make Christmas really special for her and the request was for Leonie to go to a pantomime. We felt this was a small gift for this five-year-old with such a massive operation ahead of her but it was the least we could do. Her smile and giggles would definitely make it worthwhile.

The family have recently received some great news about the operation which is now scheduled for February 2019 they haven't yet raised £35,000 but they are edging closer by the day and as of this morning it was £34,796!

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