Naomi's gift of independence

By John HowardA YOUNG girl who suffers from a potentially-fatal illness has been given a special gift by kind-hearted residents - her independence.Seven-year-old Naomi Walker suffers from a little understood illness called Myasthenia Gravis, to which as yet there is no known cure.

By John Howard

A YOUNG girl who suffers from a potentially-fatal illness has been given a special gift by kind-hearted residents - her independence.

Seven-year-old Naomi Walker suffers from a little understood illness called Myasthenia Gravis, to which as yet there is no known cure.

Myasthenia Gravis is an auto-immune disease characterised by fluctuating, sometimes fatal, muscle weakness.


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It means activities taken for granted by most people - such as eating food, lifting arms, speaking to friends or laughing - become difficult or even impossible for sufferers.

Naomi, of Ford View Road, Stowmarket, has had the condition from birth and needs constant care and medication.

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But she has longed to be able to ride a bike and, with the help of neighbours and friends - who contacted the Stowmarket and District Lions and Bartons Bicycle in Stowmarket - a cycle was manufactured for Naomi.

It is linked to her father's bike, which means if Naomi becomes tired while cycling, her father can simply take over the pedalling.

Her parents, Ron and Jayne, said they were thrilled with people's generosity in helping make their daughter's dream come true.

Mr Walker, 46, who works for ICI, said: “This makes such a difference for Naomi, this is brilliant.

“We are really grateful, this will make a difference to her life and ours. This will give Naomi a lot more independence and is her first ride in seven years.”

Mrs Walker, 39, added: “She feels a lot like her friends now who use their bikes.

“Although she still needs one of us to go with her, she loves it and it means such a lot to her. Without the Lions, we could not afford it, we are very grateful.”

George Carson, spokesman for the Stowmarket and District Lions, said he was moved to see Naomi on her new bike.

He added: “She is such a pretty little girl, she had a sister who died from the disease. She needs constant care, but to see her sitting on her bike and riding down the road was wonderful.

“It was a great feeling to be able to do this, we want to make a difference and if we can, we will.”

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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