I’ve written before on here about Digital Louis the little lad of my mates DigitalKate and DigitalSean. Louis is generally typical nearly-three-year-old. He has an unhealthy obsession with Lego and enjoys painting himself more than the paper. He loves being turned upside down and tickled until he can hardly breathe and would play ‘Superman” by balancing on your legs in the air all day,if your knackered back and hips would allow it.
Given the opportunity to live on ice cream and chocolate cereal, he’d bite your hand off (and then promptly spit it out, in order to cram more ice cream into his face).
There is one way that Louis is not typical, however. He has an as-yet-undiagnosed condition that reduces his gross motor abilities. That means he has trouble holding his head up, sitting up straight, standing and walking. In addition, his muscular problems mean his speech is delayed. He uses sign language and can make himself understood perfectly well.
His mobility, though, is a problem.
Louis uses a walking frame that means he can scoot along smooth floors and pavements. He loves it, but its heavy and reduces his chances to interact with his environment and other kids.
There are lots of things that Louis could do, but struggles with. If he’s excited and wants to run around, he needs someone to help him into his walker. If he wants to scrunch his fingers into dried leaves, or throw snow at us, his walker holds him too high off the ground and forces him to be in a standing position.
If we go out to eat, Louis’ walker means that he has to sit on someone’s knee. The walker is too low to eat from and a standard high chair doesn’t provide him with the stability in his trunk that he needs.
And he’s nearly three. He doesn’t WANT to sit on someones knee. He’s not a BABY. Jeez…
Louis’ Mum and Dad are fundraising to buyhim a SnapDragon wheelchair. These pieces of equipment are amazing and will let Louis get on with being a little boy, rather than struggling each day with his mobility problems.
We’re not suggesting it’ll fix everything, he’ll have daily challenges just as he currently does, but having a powered chair that HE can control will let him get on with living, learning and exploring like every other preschooler.
There have been dozens of fundraising events run for Louis over the past months, from fashion shows to ice cream parties, from a Tube marathon to a static sponsored cycle.
We’re just over a thousand pounds away from hitting the target that we never thought we’d hit before Christmas.
With a big push, we could get Louis’ chair ordered and have it ready for him to use in the spring.
Last year I ran a photo challenge on Trauma Queen. I asked you guys for suggestions and requests as to pictures you wanted taken. Some of them were very silly, others required a bit of thought. Running round Edinburgh taking pictures for my readers was fab. Aled from ThinkNuts was so taken with the photo I took for his suggestion that he ordered prints for his wall. I’ve since met Aled and his other half and it gave me a real buzz to see him gushing over “his photos”.
So we’re running another photo challenge, but this time with a prize at stake that will hopefully help Louis out with his wheelchair.
In the comments, please submit your photo requests, then head over to Help Get Louis Some Wheels. Cos here’s the fun bit.
At the end of the photo challenge, everyone who’s submitted a request and donated £10 or more will be entered into a raffle to win THEIR image, printed and mounted and ready to display in your house. Just mark your justgiving donation with “TQ” so we know to include you in the draw.
So get your thinking caps on, make me get out there and take some photos, help Louis get his chair and get yourself in the running to win some one-of-a-kind bespoke art for your walls.
Of course, if you dont want to enter the raffle and just want to donate, I’m sure Louis wouldn’t mind that either.
From the Digital family and from me, many thanks and Happy Holidays.