Smiling Faith is the inspiration as fundraisers near target

Faith McLennan on her iJoy Ride with, from left, Lions Vince and Carol Sterland, sister Tayla , mum Caroline Brewster and Rotary president Alan Kendrick
Faith McLennan on her iJoy Ride with, from left, Lions Vince and Carol Sterland, sister Tayla , mum Caroline Brewster and Rotary president Alan Kendrick
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Six-year-old Faith McLennan is a bright and happy little girl, and an inspiration to all around her.

Even though she suffers from Cerebral Palsy which affects all four limbs and means she cannot walk unaided, Faith, who lives in Maxey, is rarely seen without a smile on her face.

And that smile could get even bigger with the news that an appeal launched last November to raise £40,000 to pay for a life-changing operation that will enhance her quality of life is well over half way to its target. The operation isn’t currently funded by the NHS.

The appeal, launched under the banner of Faith’s Journey by her mum Caroline Brewster, 26, and dad Lee McLennan, 30, has reached the £27,000 mark having touched the hearts of many people from far and wide.

The operation is called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and Faith’s family hope it will allow her to walk unaided or with little help, as well as take away the spasticity from her limbs ensuring that the pain of being constantly stiff is removed.

The operation involves an incision to the lower back, the nerve fibres running from the muscles back to the spinal cord are then divided to take away the stiffness.

The £40,000 will not only pay for the operation but will also contribute to the cost of Faith’s aftercare and post op physiotherapy.

With the appeal going so well, there was further good news for the family with the confirmation that Faith has been accepted to have the operation, which will be performed at Bristol Children’s Hospital on June 25 next year.

Caroline said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response we have had from people.

“You don’t realise just how many generous people there are out there until you are in this situation. It has been amazing.

“The appeal has gone better than we expected and better than we could have hoped.

“Lots of people, many we don’t even know, have been adopting Faith’s Journey as their charity. It really has touched our hearts.”

A recent pamper evening at Longthorpe Village Hall raised £1,500 for the appeal. Now it’s all systems go to reach the fundraising goal before next summer.

If you would like to organise a fundraising event in support of the appeal and help Faith receive her operation, or would like to make a donation, you can contact Caroline on 07949091901.

For more information about the appeal, see the Tree of Hope page at www.treeofhope.org.uk/faith-mclennan

Christmas came a little early for Faith thanks to two local charity organisations.

Faith’s parents Caroline Brewster and Lee McLennan wanted her to have an iJoy Ride, a high-tech exercise machine designed for indoor rider training but also designed to improve core balance and tone and condition leg muscles.

It is all the more important for her in view of the operation she is to undergo next June at Bristol Children’s Hospital to improve the muscle stiffness in her limbs to help make walking easier for her, with the iJoy Ride seen as an excellent way for her to prepare for the operation and beyond.

On hearing Faith’s story, the Rotary Club of the Deepings and the Deepings Lions Club were keen to get involved and pooled together to purchase an iJoy ride for her at a cost of £499. It has now been delivered and Faith is already enjoying her early Christmas gift.

Rotarian John Lavery, who co-ordinated the project, said: “We were only too pleased to help such a deserving cause. We hope Faith will have many years of enjoyment from her iJoy Ride machine and that it will help her achieve greater mobility.”

Vince Sterland, treasurer of Deepings Lions, added: “These are the sort of projects we like to help with. We were pleased to support such a worthy cause to help Faith to improve her mobility. To see the expression on Faith’s face when opening the box makes our fundraising all worthwhile.”