Back in June, The Orchards Shopping Centre held a One Great Day to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. And while everyone who came was a star in helping to raise over £3,300, there was one star in particular who stirred hearts that day; ten-year-old Toby Skerman, himself a patient at the Hospital. His courage was so inspiring that staff at the Nuffield Hospital vowed to raise enough funds to buy him the Beach Hippocampe wheelchair he needs to help him live a full family life.
Toby has Complex Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; a genetically inherited connective tissue disorder, which is both disabling and debilitating. The connective tissues of the body stretch too much, causing instability of the joints, weak unsupportive muscles and internal organ dysfunction. He also has Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction and suffers from constant pain and exhaustion. While there is no cure, Toby has been helped by the Rheumatology Physiotherapy team at Great Ormond Street Hospital
The wheelchair will cost £3,000 and already Toby’s Wheels team has raised £500 by the sale of hand knitted teddies, homemade jam and book sales; but they’re planning many more activities as their target is £500 per month to buy the wheelchair by Christmas
As Nuffield Matron, Sharon Pargeter, says: “The courage shown by Toby and all his family was an inspiration to all of us as to how to live our lives. We’re determined to reach our target and do hope that everyone in the community will come and support us – and, more importantly, our Toby!”
During August, Nuffield will be holding a BBQ lunch on Friday 15th August and a Jewellery sale on the 21st, while in September, there’ll be a sponsored walk (Sunday 14th), a half marathon being run by one of their physiotherapists and a sale of nearly new clothes (date to be confirmed). Watch this space for more news of activities.
Orchards Manager, Nicola Bird, is over the moon that the Nuffield team has taken Toby to their hearts. “Great Ormond Street is an incredible institution and one that deserves all our support. I’m absolutely delighted that, as a community, we can help Toby live a good life.”