Hope 4 Kidz launched an appeal for £75,000 to support Matthew’s Milestone Appeal for Matthew Brettell aged 9 from Sunderland, Matthew has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a severe muscle wasting disorder, affecting about 1500 boys in the UK. Boys affected by DMD first start to show signs of muscle weakness about the age of 3 years, and by 12 years they are unable to walk. By their late teens, the condition is life threatening, as the muscles used for breathing become weaker.
There is no cure for DMD at the moment, although physiotherapy and exercise can help counteract the effects of the muscle weakening.
In 2013 Matthew was diagnosed with DMD at the age of 7 and a half. As Matthew was older than most other boys diagnosed with the same condition and his prognosis to be wheelchair bound at around 11 years of age, time was running out for the family to make the urgently needed adaptations to their home.
To help Matthew, his house needs a huge amount of adaptations to accommodate the amount of medical equipment needed both in his bedroom and bathroom as well as the rest of the house to support him to live as independently as possible for as long as possible and still be part of the family.
To enter the house Matthew cannot manage the 6 very high steps to enter the hall. therefore a ramp needs building at the front of the house as well as the front door widened along with all of the internal doors. Once inside the hall Matthew cannot use a manual wheelchair as there is not enough room to manoeuvre into the living room or the kitchen/ dinette. To enter the back garden from the kitchen, there is a drop of around 10 foot staircase. Matthew now needs to use an electric wheelchair which is left at his school, as this also is too big for the house. Matthew’s parents have to carry him up the stairs to his bedroom and to use the bathroom and the only toilet.
Matthew is already relying more on his electric wheelchair at school as his calves are becoming enlarged and his legs are becoming to stiff to walk. Matthew sees each day as a new beginning. He is an amazing little boy with a huge amount of courage and personality.
Fitz Architects in Sunderland has created the plans and designed the adaptations for the house pro bono. The plans have now been submitted to the local planning department in Sunderland. We have also secured £30,000 Disability Financial Grant and have raised just over £30,000 from events and fundraising. We also have some gifts in kind on hold ready for the build from local businesses. We are so close to our target and now so close to starting the build to help this amazing young boy.
If you wish to support Matthew there are many ways you can do this, please contact the office for more information.