New wheelchair for youngster

A BRAVE young lady is on her way to independence thanks to the generosity of her cousin - and a bit of pedal power.

A BRAVE young lady is on her way to independence thanks to the generosity of her cousin - and a bit of peddle power.

The first stage in helping Bethany Tayla Woods get her new wheelchair is complete after Tom Pryke cycled 30 kilometres at the Ipswich Town Training Ground.

Seven-year-old Bethany was born in August 2001 with a rare form of Congenital Muscular Dystrophy - type Merosin Negative. She will never stand or walk and is totally reliant on a wheelchair for independence.

Bethany's appearance as a mascot at Town's pre-season friendly against West Ham, in August, marked the start of her family's campaign to raise the £15,000 needed to buy her wheelchair.

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Mr Pryke, 25, finished the sponsored exercise bike ride with family friend Larren Fortescue in just over an hour, raising around £750.

After finishing the cycle ride at the Playford Road training ground, Mr Pryke said: “I am really pleased to have completed this challenge and in a better time than I was expecting.

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“We're grateful to Ipswich Sports Club for helping us both get fit, and to all our sponsors, family, and friends.

“We've still got a long way to go in achieving our target.”

Mr Pryke also faced health problems as a youngster. He was born with a hole in his heart and needed major heart surgery when he was just four years old but is now in good health.

To find out more about Bethany and donate to the fund, visit

Have you gone that extra mile to help a member of your family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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