Special suit for Summer

Summer van Bogerijen, of Carr Road in Fleetwood, suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and thanks to fundraising now has a special suit which will help minimise the curvature of her spine.'Summer in her hi-tech suit.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'31-10-2012
Summer van Bogerijen, of Carr Road in Fleetwood, suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and thanks to fundraising now has a special suit which will help minimise the curvature of her spine.'Summer in her hi-tech suit. PIC BY ROB LOCK'31-10-2012

GENEROUS folk have rallied to buy a little girl a special suit which will slow down scoliosis in her spine.

Five-year-old Summer Van Bogerijen has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and needs the custom made ‘Second Skin’ body suit to help control curvature of the spine.

And after an appeal in the Fleetwood Weekly News in July, the town’s kind folk have raised £3,931.

Summer now has her hi-tech suit and her mum Stacey says the family have been overwhelmed by the support from local people

She said: “We just want to say thank you to everyone who contributed to the 
appeal.

“It’s so hard looking after a child like Summer, and that includes the finance side too.

“People think that you get lots of help financially but that isn’t the case and it’s difficult.

“This suit will make a huge difference to Summer, it improves her posture and ultimately will help to increase her life-expectancy.”

The suit was custom made in Australia and is boned to give support. It cost £2,130 so there is still enough money in the pot to put towards another one in 12 to 18 months time when Summer has outgrown this one.

The youngster, who lives in Carr Road, Fleetwood, with her devoted family, has to wear the suit seven to eight hours a day for five days a week and it has already started to make a difference.

“When Summer is sat in her wheelchair, the top of her head is one inch further up the headrest than it used to be,” said Stacey.

“And that’s because her posture is correct and is 
being supported by the suit.

“It’s absolutely brilliant and will make a massive 
difference.”

Summer will have to wear the ‘Second Skin’ for the rest of her life and her family is hoping that one day the NHS will agree to help fund it.”

The money raised came from several fund-raising events.

The first was a Zumbathon in August hosted by Barry Kinder who teaches Zumba at venues across the Fylde Coast.

It took place at Fleetwood High School, was a huge success and was very well supported. That alone made more than £1,000.

A one off donation came from the family of Janet Grundy, a well-known Fleetwood midwife who sadly passed away a few months ago. Her wish was to donate money to a cause which would benefit a child, and her family chose Summer to be the beneficiary.

Then there was a donation from the Shovels pub in Hambleton from their annual fun day.

And youngsters from Fleetwood Town Juniors raised £600 from a fun run and donations.

One of Stacey’s old school pals, Lyn Funnel, who now lives in Weymouth, saw Summer’s appeal on Facebook and decided to do a skydive to raise money for her.

Other money was raised simply by collecting buckets of loose change in Fleetwood’s pubs.

Summer’s cerebral palsy is caused by polymicrogyria which is a condition from the abnormal development of the brain before birth.

The surface of the brain normally has many ridges or folds. In people with polymicrogyria, the brain develops too many folds, and the folds are unusually small.

This condition has caused Summer’s cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

She is unable to sit, walk, talk or eat, but despite that and thanks to her dedicated family, she is a happy little girl. As well as her mum, her dad Andrew, siblings Brooke and David and her step-brothers Owen and Jordan give Summer the best care possible.

She is also helped at Highfurlong School and at Brian House.

Stacey added: “It is difficult. We have a carer who comes a couple of nights a week because Summer needs to be turned in her bed every two hours. It’s exhausting but I’m her mum and as a mum you just get on with it.”