A BURNLEY schoolboy who suffers from cerebral palsy needs to raise £5,500 for a new wheelchair which he says will completely change his life.
Nicki Shepherd (12) was diagnosed with the condition at 12 months old.
He has had countless operations and, although he can walk to some extent, he tires easily and needs a wheelchair to get around Blessed Trinity RC College.
He is currently using an old manual wheelchair which his occupational therapist said is too small for him and could lead to curvature of the spine.
His mum Kirsty (32) and dad Nicki (39) are unable to foot the bill for the £5,500 chair and so kind-hearted staff and pupils from the school have launched a fund-raising campaign.
They will hold a Caberet Evening of Song and Dance at school on Wednesday from 7pm and are encouraging as many people as possible to buy tickets.
Mum Kirsty said: “He manages to do everything. Being in a wheelchair doesn’t stop him. He goes to Burnley Youth Theatre, takes part in sports day and he loves drama and technology. He writes his own blog.
“I have applied to lots of different charities to see if they could help fund the wheelchair but they have no money.
“The wheelchair he’s in at the moment is far too small for him.
“He gets backache and his posture is all wrong.”
Nicki, who lives with his mum and dad and little sister Maddi (5), in Ecroyd Street, Nelson, said: “It would be so much easier. I get tired from wheeling round all day, it’s not comfortable, it hurts my back.
“My disability makes me who I am and this wheelchair would be fantastic.”
The caberet evening will include performances to songs from Moulin Rouge and Rihanna. Tickets are £3, or £10 for a family ticket, and are available from Blessed Trinity.
The fund-raising has already been kick-started by fellow pupil Megan Frost who completed the Great Manchester Cycle.
Kirsty added: “School have been brilliant. It would just mean so much to the whole family. Nicki is nearly 13 and wants to be independent and to be able to go out with his friends.”
•You can follow Nicki’s progress at sheplive.blogspot.co.uk.