All-terrain wheelchair dream for six-year-old Alex moves closer thanks to kind-hearted Lancastrians

The family of a six-year-old boy with a rare genetic condition have thanked generous Lancastrians for their help raising money towards a life-changing wheelchair.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 17th June 2022, 3:45 pm

Little Alex Knowles, six, was diagnosed with muscle-wasting condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) five years ago.

The condition means that he is confined to a wheelchair, and is beginning to miss out on activities with friends and family.

"He's struggling keeping up with friends at school in his manual wheelchair", said Dad Sam, 35. "So we looked into getting an all-terrain one, but it was £14,500."

The team that took on a five-hour trek around Preston Docks

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The family, who live in Morecambe, began running local fundraisers towards the chair, which attracted the attention of Preston-based Kids4Kids, a Community Theatre Company that supports local good causes.

Since then, the family have thrown themselves into fundraisers for Kids4Kids, with Alex set to sing as Elton John in the upcoming end of year show.

Last weekend, a team of 30 people from Kids4Kids also took part in a sponsored five-hour trek around Preston Docks.

Alex and mum Anita

Dad Sam took on the challenge in a manual wheelchair and completed eight laps - a total of 12 miles.

He said: "I don't know why I deciced to do that - my thumb is still numb now!

"But it was a great event and between us we clocked up 336 miles."

The family, which includes mum Anita and 15-year-old brother Harry, are now hopeful the £14,500 target is not far off being hit.

Alex checking out wheelchairs of the past

Sam said: "We're very close now, and we've also had a lot of support from the Variety charity.

"It will make a massive difference to Alex to have the chair, it will bring a whole new lease of life to him.

"It's very lightweight, so we can transport it easily, and it is designed to last him into adulthood with different cushion attachments. So while £14,500 sounds a lot, it will get a lot of use.

"And it means that as a family we're not worrying so much if it's raining and whether access will be okay. Alex will be able to get across lots of different terrains and be with his friends."

Alex is described as bright and confident

On Saturday, June 18, a charity auction in aid of Alex will take place at Lea Club in Blackpool Road, Preston, starting at 7.30pm

Find out more about the Westgate Primary School pupil and his fundraising journey by clicking here.