THE RIGHT TO QUALITY OF LIFE: WHY A NORWICH GRANDMA SHAVING HER HEAD

by Laura Aghassi and Lisa Mikaiel

A 76 years young Norwich Grandma is aiming to raise enough money to purchase an electric wheelchair for Reid Manson, by having her hair shaved off.  The event is taking place at the Forum on Saturday 18th June at 2 pm.

Anne Dupon, a Norwich Grandma was moved by the story of Reid, a young man in her local community, whom she met through her involvement in The Big Local (a lottery funded community project).  Reid suffers from several debilitating conditions.  He has epilepsy, fibromyalgia, M.E. (Myalgic Encephalopathy) and FND (Functional Neurological Disorder).  The FND has left him with left sided weakness and leg paralysis, equivalent to having had a stroke.

He spent almost a year of his life confined to one room due to not being able to walk and the doorways being too narrow for wheelchair access. This meant he had no way to access the kitchen, bathroom, or even the shower.  Reid has finally got an accessible bungalow with a wet room, and he has been able to get out of the property, on his own, in his manual wheelchair after such a long time.

Unfortunately, due to Reid’s medical conditions, he is unable to push himself very far in his manual wheelchair without pain which can then cause seizures. He therefore relies on friends, family and care workers to push him if he wishes to go out.

He spent almost a year of his life confined to one room due to not being able to walk and the doorways being too narrow for wheelchair access

Reid’s life would be significantly improved with an electric wheelchair or electric mobility scooter. It would assist him on bad days around the home. He would be able to take himself out when he is well enough and regain much more of his independence and hopefully start to build up his confidence and boost his morale and self-worth. He could take an electric wheelchair on days out with family and friends to enable him to access places that he has not been able to for a very long time. In all, an electric wheelchair or scooter would enable Reid to get some of his life back.

153-the-forum-norwich

(artwork © Howard Temperley)

A robust electric wheelchair, suitable for outdoor as well as indoor use, can cost a minimum of £2,000.

When asked what made Anne decide to aim to raise money to purchase an electric wheelchair for Reid, she said, “When I saw how tiring it was for Reid to propel himself in his manual wheelchair, I asked him “If you won the lottery, would you want an electric wheelchair?”  After a little thought Reid replied “yes” — this is when I decided to do some fund raising and came up with the idea of having my hair shaved off”.  Anne has been touched by the generosity of friends, family and strangers, who have already made donations and hopes that with some more donations she will be able to purchase an electric wheelchair.

an electric wheelchair or scooter would enable Reid to get some of his life back

When Reid found out that Anne intended to raise money to purchase him an electric wheelchair, he was extremely moved, to think that someone he didn’t know that well was prepared to help him.

  • If you are able to contribute to this cause, Anne has set up a fund raising page on just giving crowdfunding which can be accessed via Justgiving.
  • If you would like to give Anne support on the day, please come along, the Head Shaving event will take place at 2 pm on Saturday 18th June at the Forum.

Featured image © Albert Bredenhann

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