A chair for Mason


A local family are currently trying to raise £15,000 for a new off-road wheelchair to give their young son the freedom to visit the beach and woods.

Ten-year-old Mason Skinner has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, called collagen VI deficiency. The condition means he has to have physiotherapy every day at his home and his school, Rye Primary, plus hydro sessions once a week.

He currently uses an electric wheelchair on a daily basis but because of the type of chair Mason uses, he is limited on where he can go.

Mason’s stepmother Sherry Skinner said: “In his current chair Mason is limited to flat paved areas. He can’t access sandy, pebbly beaches or the woodland areas that surround the Rye area and we can’t have family days out easily.”

Mason testing the off road wheelchair at Mallydams

Last year Mason’s dad Clifford and Sherry took him to Mallydams RSPCA centre where he was lucky enough to have the chance to try out an off-road wheelchair in woodlands at Fairlight, which Sherry said left Mason blown away. The new 4×4 chair would allow Mason the freedom to go almost anywhere independently with or without the family. Sherry said: “We were very lucky to trial the chair at Mallydams along with two other children it was absolutely fantastic.”

I recently had the pleasure of accompanying Mason on a ride around the Tilling Green estate and I noticed how his current wheelchair was not suitable for some of the higher drop-down kerbs, which is generally a problem in Rye.

Sherry is currently organising a fundraising event on Saturday, March 25, at Rye Sports Centre from 10:30am until 2:30pm with all proceeds going to Mason’s fund. There will be a sponsored event where Mason, Clifford and myself will be doing laps around the hard standing outside in our wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

We are all currently looking for sponsors so if you would like to sponsor us or even take part please contact Sherry on hawkinss73@hotmail.co.uk

A crowdfunding page is currently open  in a bid to raise the £15,000.

Photo: Sherry Skinner

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