My name is Olivia and I am four years of age from Newport in Gwent. I was born prematurely at only 29 weeks and at 1 week old was diagnosed with petri ventricular leukomalacia. In simple terms, the doctors had found cysts in the parts of my brain which control movement. These cysts have disappeared with time but I have been left with a condition called cerebral palsy.
This condition has had a massive impact on my daily life. My main symptom is increased muscle tone which has prevented me from reaching basic milestones so many children my age take for granted such as sitting, crawling and walking. I receive physiotherapy from the NHS but its nowhere near enough to have a noticeable improvement on my life. My family have secured me blocks of therapy sessions at the Footsteps Centre in Oxford which is specifically designed to help children with not just cerebral palsy, but other neurological disorders. My therapy sessions aren't funded by the NHS so £6,000 a year needs to be raised for Tree of Hope just to cover the cost of my sessions.
There is no cure for my condition, but there is an operation which may be able to remove themuscle tightness I suffer with on a daily basis. This procedure is called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and provided I am a suitable candidate, is one of my best options at being able to walk independently. This surgery was pioneered in America but is now being carried out at Frenchay hospital in Bristol. This procedure is also not funded by the NHS and for me to have the procedure and my aftercare the Tree of Hope need to raise £60,000.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story. So what's this page for? The purpose of this page is to keep you updated of my progress and raise awareness, not just of my condition but of a number of children like me in Wales whose families are faced with having to raise huge sums of money to make our lives as comfortable as possible.
Through this page I will publicise events being held to raise money for my therapy and potential operation so please feel free to share to raise awareness and give me the best chance of being able to walk.
This page will also act as my main online donation page which can be used by people raising sponsorship on my behalf or for anybody who may wish to make a one off donation.
Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
Since creating this webpage numerous people/organisations have offered to help in anyway they can.
One being www.discountbannerprinting.co.uk who have agreed to supply us with advertising banners to display at upcoming events. To all at the discount banner team, thank you very much!