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£4,155raised of £5,000 target by 125 supporters

Weʼre raising £5,000 to send Emily for intensive physiotherapy at the Footsteps Centre near Oxford, to help her learn to walk.

20 days to go

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Emily is 7 years old. She was born with a rare chromosome disorder called 1p36 deletion syndrome. As a result of this, she has complex needs. These include low muscle tone (hypotonia), bilateral hearing loss, a heart condition called cardiomyopathy, and severe learning difficulties. She is non-verbal and communicates through signing Makaton, and a communication aid (computer).

When Emily was diagnosed at 8 months old, we were told by that the doctors that they just didn’t know whether Emily would walk or not, as her condition is so rare. We have always hoped she would, and have spent many hours working on building her core strength. Recently, we have noticed how much stronger and controlled Emily is becoming, and she can now walk with us holding her hands, albeit rather unsteadily!

We have heard many great things about a centre in Oxford called Footsteps. It is a privately run centre that uses physiotherapy techniques from abroad to help children up to 18 years with a variety of conditions. Some other children with 1p36 deletion syndrome have been, and their parents have been amazed by the positive results. It costs £1700 to send someone for 3 weeks of physio – 2 hours a day. One hour on the mat, and the other hour in something called the ‘spider’ which consists of stretchy ropes that are attached to the child to help build strength and balance.

In May we took Emily there for an 'assessment' session. We have felt, and the specialists at Footsteps agree, that because Emily is so close to walking independently, a 3 week course at the centre would really help boost her ability to walk, and her general independence.

This crowdfunding page is just one of the ways in which we are hoping to raise the money. Many kind friends and family members are offering to organise events on our behalf (quiz night, car boot sale, plant sale, half marathon, forest school day...) and we really are so grateful and overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by everyone to help Em on her journey.

We are hoping to send Emily in July as they have space available, depending on timings. We will keep everyone updated here to let you know how she gets on!

lots of love, and many thanks,

Dan, Mels, Emily and Tom xxxx

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  • Dan Bleaken13 hrs ago
    Dan Bleaken

    Dan Bleaken

    13 hrs ago

    Sorry for the lack of updates... We're delighted to say that Emily's time at Footsteps was incredible and inspiring; she made great progress and all of it with a big smile on her face! We can't wait to take her back for another course. Thanks to everyone's wonderful generosity we have the money for that now, and can book it up. It's already made a difference to Emily's independence and to our lives. Many thanks once again, Mels, Dan, Emily and Tom xxx

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  • Dan Bleaken1 month ago
    Dan Bleaken

    Dan Bleaken

    1 month ago

    One... Two... Three... Four...five... Steps closer... 😀

    Update from the Page owner

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  • Dan Bleaken1 month ago
    Dan Bleaken

    Dan Bleaken

    1 month ago

    Day 2. Emily loving it in the spider doing some bouncing. Building strength and confidence!

    Update from the Page owner

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3 months ago

Dan Bleaken started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 8/15/2018 7:44 PM



  • K Perks

    K Perks

    Aug 3, 2018

    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. love to Emily


  • Emma Trueman

    Emma Trueman

    Jul 13, 2018

    Sending you all lots of love. I hope Emily enjoys her time at the centre and gets lots out of itLots of loveEm stu kinder and bean xxx


  • Kate Hathaway

    Kate Hathaway

    Jul 9, 2018

    Hope today is the start of wonderful times for Emily!


  • Pauline Laraway

    Pauline Laraway

    Jun 24, 2018


  • Margaret Singfield

    Margaret Singfield

    Jun 15, 2018

    Mel and. Dan, having heard of Emily’s very much needed treatment we hope this will go towards getting the support she needs. Love from us both Maggi and Tom x


  • Mary Oddi

    Mary Oddi

    Jun 11, 2018

    Here's to the wonderful Bleakens ! Fondest love to you all from Auntie Mary XXX



    Jun 10, 2018

    Love and Best Wishes to you all for this project.


Dan Bleaken

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Dan Bleaken

Dan Bleaken

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