Family fundraiser for Henry's £3,000 wheelchair

29-year-old Henry, from Soham is 'an inspiration to a lot of people who have met him'.

29-year-old Henry, from Soham is 'an inspiration to a lot of people who have met him'. - Credit: Family

A family has started a fundraiser in hopes of raising £3,000 to buy their son a new wheelchair that he so desperately needs. 

29-year-old Henry Rostron, from Soham, was diagnosed with a degenerative genetic disorder called Friedreich’s Ataxia at the age of 13. 

It is a life-threatening condition that affects his nervous system, meaning that he is slowly deteriorating in front of his family’s eyes. 

Henry is a 24/7 wheelchair user and is looked after by a carer. 

Currently, there is no cure for his condition and his life expectancy is early adulthood. 

Mark, Henry’s step-father, said, “Over the 16 years since Henry was diagnosed with his condition, we have had to buy or fundraise for five wheelchairs at a cost of between £3,000 - £9,000 each. 

29-year-old Henry was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a life-limiting disease, whilst he was in secondary school

29-year-old Henry was diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a life-limiting disease, whilst he was in secondary school and he was using a wheelchair by age 13. - Credit: Family

"He is currently using a wheelchair that was provided by wheelchair services but this needs to be urgently replaced as it is causing Henry huge discomfort because of his scoliosis”. 

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Henry's life is no longer his own; he is slowly losing the ability to do anything for himself. 

Mark added: “Henry is now also registered blind and his carers have to do everything for him. 

"His daily routine has become a prison, as all he is able to do is sit in his living room listening to his audio books”. 

The family is hoping to have a wheelchair built to a specification that will help Henry to lead a normal and comfortable daily life. 

29-year-old Henry still visits the gym

29-year-old Henry, from Soham, has been working out in the gym since he was fifteen and although he can do very little now, he still visits Sweat Gym most days - Credit: Family

“Henry already has enough to worry about without being in pain for most of his day”, said Mark. 

“The amount of effort that he puts in to try and slow his condition down would embarrass those of us who are fit and able enough to exercise. 

"His one hope is that he can keep himself alive long enough until a cure is found”. 

Henry’s GoFundMe page was created on October 29, and already, with the help of individuals, £2,825 has been raised by the family.

Henry’s mum, Felicity, said: "Henry's an inspiration.

“It seems such a small thing, that a wheelchair can make so much difference to someone’s outlook on life, but to Henry, it is the difference between a good day and a bad day.” 

If the family’s fundraiser goes over £3,000, the remaining funds will be donated to Ataxia UK. 

To donate to the family, please visit their GoFundMe page


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