A fundraiser to support a little girl from Wadalba is underway.
Alyssa England is 7 years old and lives with Friedrich’s Ataxia.
The rare genetic disease, also known as Spinocerebellar Degeneration, causes damage to the spinal cord, brain and heart.
Eventually it leads to severe physical disability and death.
Whilst the symptoms vary between people, Alyssa has so far developed severe cardiomyopathy (heart disease), significant fatigue, speech difficulties and a loss of motor function.
Staying on her feet for long periods of time has gradually evolved into a major challenge for Alyssa, with her family now in the process of transitioning her towards prolonged use of a wheelchair.
To make that transition easier, a fundraiser has been set up to help with the costs of the resources that the family now needs to accommodate Alyssa’s wheelchair.
Louise Marks, Alyssa’s aunt, launched the fundraiser.
She’s hoping to raise $30,000 to support her family.
According to Marks, atop the list of priorities is getting a new wheelchair accessible vehicle to ensure Alyssa can stay mobile, keep up with day to day life and take some of the stress out of her regular trips to specialist doctors.
“Due to Alyssa’s increasing reliance on her wheelchair, we need to purchase a vehicle capable of not only transporting her wheelchair, but able to be modified to include a wheelchair ramp and other disability friendly modifications as needed, as Alyssa’s disease progresses,” Marks explained.
“At the moment, my sister Laura doesn’t have a choice but to hire a car when she needs to make long trips, such as for Alyssa’s various medical appointments, or to hire a wheelchair at the end destination.
“For everyday outings, Laura often needs to carry Alyssa or use a stroller, which isn’t physically appropriate.
“Laura is dealing with such a huge mental, emotional, physical and financial load in managing my niece’s illness, and looking after her other children as well, that I’d really like to help make her life a little easier by helping to make transportation and therefore Alyssa’s mobility, albeit in a wheelchair, one less thing on her plate,” Marks said.
Marks said any financial contribution would go a long way to making life a little easier for a family doing it tough.
“We have been blown away by the generosity of the Central Coast.
“Last year you helped raise the funds needed to help make Alyssa’s dream of visiting Disney Land come true and my family is so grateful for that.
“We have experienced so much kindness and generosity already and understand that the past few months have been tough for everyone thanks to COVID-19, but any support that the people of the Central Coast can offer would be so appreciated,” Marks said.
The Making Alyssa Mobile fundraiser is currently live on the Go Fund Me website for any interested in donating.
As of June 26, the fundraiser had reached $2,715 of its $30,000 goal.
Email, Jun 15
Emily Mcdonald, Go Fund Me
Interview, Jun 26
Louise Marks, Fundraiser
Reporter: Dilon Luke