Our GeeWizz Families

Please meet some of the extraordinary families we are so lucky to work with, and watch as their lives are transformed by the work of GeeWizz, and our incredible fundraisers, supporters and donors.

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LATEST NEWS: RSM Bury St Edmunds have raised over £14,000 for GeeWizz, and we are delighted to be their Charity of the Year for the second consecutive year!

George Woodward

For the first three years of his life, George Woodward had never been able to smell grass, bend down and touch flowers or pick up things from the floor himself. George (aged 4) has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, which affects motor neurons in the spinal cord eventually, leading to severe disability.

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Living with the rare and debilitating condition never stopped George’s zest for life and a smile was never far away. He is now able to do and enjoy all the things most families take for granted after GeeWizz funded a power wheelchair to replace his manual one. His mum Laura said: “The new wheelchair has been lifechanging for George – giving him the independence that every child should have. “He loves it so much, he’s never been able to leave my side before, and now he’s got this chair he goes way ahead. “We have been around the park and on lovely long walks and he’s having a great time. “Before, he had a manual lightweight wheelchair, but his arms tired very quickly and he was unable to explore the world around him.”

George and his family were supported from the money raised for GeeWizz by the 2015 Sir Bobby’s Online Auction, now named the Ultimate Charity Auction.

Luke Cattermole

Luke Cattermole has Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy – meaning he is unable to walk or talk and do so many of the things that 12-year-olds would take for granted. GeeWizz has supported Luke with a much needed portable hoist, sensory garden items and an away day at Colchester Zoo for the whole family.

Thanks to GeeWizz, Luke is now able to play in the garden with his three brothers, Kyle (aged 6), Aidan (aged 3) and Finley James (aged 10 months), and the hoist has allowed the family to contemplate their first holiday in years. Mum Kirsty said: “GeeWizz has given us so many new opportunities. The hoist allows us to lift Luke in and out of chairs so we can think about going on holiday. “Meanwhile, he will absolutely love the outdoor chimes and sensory garden items. He is unable to do things like go on a slide but they will give Luke the chance to play with his brothers in the garden. It is such a simple thing that adds so much to Luke’s quality of life.”

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Luke was also supported by a special exhibition showcasing the work of renowned Bury St Edmunds photographer Tom Murray. GeeWizz was chosen as the beneficiary of the evening, jointly hosted by Andrew and Gemma Speed and their companies St Edmundsbury Financial Services Ltd, Sheridans, 3SQ and Larksbridge. A fundraiser was also organised by Pascal and Karine Canevet, owners of Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds, to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday. SEH Builders kindly installed all the garden sensory equipment.

Oliver’s Car Seat

4-year-old Oliver was born by emergency caesarean due to a huge drop in his heart rate during mum Jade’s labour. A few weeks into Oliver’s life, Jade and dad Dan noticed he was very sleepy, and at Oliver’s 8 week check with the health visit, they discovered that Oliver’s head circumference was increasing quicker that it should be.

When Oliver was just 3 months old, Jade and Dan visited A&E because he had started to become more sleepy, he started vomiting, and had a very high temperature along with a rash on his face. After a week of being in Ipswich hospital, Oliver was finally diagnosed with a very rare brain condition, called Vein of Galen Malformation. This condition only affects 10-12 children every year in the UK.

Oliver was transferred to GOSH, and the family were told that Oliver needed very high risk brain surgery otherwise he would die. They had to perform an embolisation to cut off the veins connecting to the Vein of Galen, and he had a one in three chance of survival. He had to undergo this type of brain surgery three times, all before the age of 5 months old.

Oliver now attends the Thomas Wolsey Special School in Ipswich, and has suspected Autism, and Global Development Delay. Oliver’s mum Jade got in touch with GeeWizz as Oliver needed a car seat to support his head, and his other needs. We have now purchased Oliver’s bespoke car seat, that is equipped to last him for 7 years, and we are in the future going to be providing travel to GOSH for Oliver’s twice yearly appointments.

Mum Jade, said “GeeWizz is the most amazing charity. What they do for families like mine is unbelievable, and we will be forever grateful!”

Daniel’s SOS Renovation

Daniel is 14 years old and sadly suffers from autism and Dravet Syndrome, which is a form of paediatric epilepsy and can cause him to have multiple seizures everyday. Daniel also has severe global development delay. Currently, Daniel sleeps in the living room in the home and his parents have to either bed bath him, or carry him up the stairs to the bath, as he is prone to seizures when using the shower in his current, poorly built wet-room. His one joy in life is to splash around in the bath, hence why we wanted to provide him with a new bathroom. The extension we are building for Daniel will provide him with a fully-equipped bathroom and sensory bedroom. This build will literally change the lives of the whole family.

We are supported in this project by 24 local business heroes, who are all donating their time, skills and materials to change Daniel’s life. Please follow our journey as the extension progresses into Daniel’s new safe-haven.

Dane Jackson

Dane has Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological condition, and he lives alone, unaided. Dane Jackson has paid tribute to the support he has received from GeeWizz, saying the charity has made a “massive” difference to his quality of life. Dane was living in a flat with no flooring while he was struggling to afford simple things that eased his condition.

But that all changed once GeeWizz got on board, helping to improve his standard of living, in and out of the home, by working closely with other organisations. Dane said: “Gina and her charity GeeWizz have helped me massively. For a long time I lived in a flat with no flooring, which meant there was a lot of dust and I was worried about falling over. “When GeeWizz arranged for me to have some flooring put down, it was absolutely fantastic. It has made such a difference to my home life.”

In addition to the flooring, GeeWizz worked with Nicky Mayhew and Ipswich Borough Council to give Dane a swimming pass at Crown Pools, as well as working with Sally Webb and the team at Ipswich Town FC, who supply matchday tickets. Dane added: “GeeWizz has really improved my quality of life and given me something to look forward to.”

Andrew and Mick Fulcher

Brothers Andrew, affectionately known as Sprock, and Mick Fulcher suffer from Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy – a severe muscle-wasting condition. The pair heavily rely on their laptops to interact with the world, but it was becoming increasingly hard for Sprock and Mick to hold their devices.

GeeWizz helped get eye-gazers funded for the brothers, which allow them to operate their computers using an eye-operated communication and control system. Delighted mum Lynn Fulcher said: “Michael had not been able to go on his laptop for a year as he couldn’t work it with his hands while Sprock, had to be propped up in bed with pillows and towels under his arms and elbows.

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“Thanks to Gina and GeeWizz their quality of life has dramatically improved. “They can now use their computers again to go on Facebook, email people and start interacting with the world again. “They are so good on their computers and I have noticed a difference in their happiness and general wellbeing since they have been able to use them again. “I cannot thank GeeWizz enough. I thought it would be years before I could afford these eye-gazers – my heart sank. GeeWizz has made such a difference to their lives.” GeeWizz also arranged for the brothers to see their beloved Arsenal at a match at the Emirates Stadium last season.

Kim Sale

Kim was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma when she was just 13. Very tragically, the only way to save Kim’s life was to amputate her leg above the knee, and this surgery took place just three weeks after her 14th birthday.

GeeWizz originally fundraised to provide Kim’s prosthetic limb, however due to NHS changes, she was entitled to a limb funded by the NHS. Now that Kim has her super sports blade, GeeWizz instead fund Kim’s training with Hayley Ginn, a lower limb amputee specialist coach, and it is looking very likely that Kim will compete in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Kim’s delighted mum Kellie said, “GeeWizz have been an amazing support to Kim in her rehabilitation. Supporting her requirements for specialist prosthetics, physiotherapy, and training. Kim is enjoying being able to get back into the sports she loved, and work towards her dream of being a Paralympic sprinter. None of this would have been possible without Gina and her fabulous team!”

We also recently organised a 16th birthday party for Kim, to celebrate this special milestone in her life. We will continue to follow Kim’s progress and watch as her legacy grows.

RSM Bury St Edmunds Fundraise for Kieran

Kieran, 21, lives in Bury St Edmunds and suffers from a Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which leaves him wheelchair bound, and in desperate need of regular physiotherapy.

RSM Bury St Edmunds, who recently named us as their Charity of the Year, have been incredibly fundraising for GeeWizz, and have already donated a fantastic £6,500 towards helping to change Kieran’s life.

(Pictured L-R: Matt, Clare and Justin from RSM, with Kieran (front)

We invite you to follow Kieran’s journey with GeeWizz, and our outstanding fundraisers, RSM Bury St Edmunds, as we help to fund Kieran’s brand new wheelchair, and weekly physiotherapy sessions!