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Town stars team up to help Bethany

PUBLISHED: 11:40 26 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

TWO ex-Ipswich Town footballers have teamed up raise money for a girl who suffers from a rare illness.

Kevin Beattie and John Wark have been touched by the plight of little Bethany Tayla Woods to join a fundraising bid to buy the toddler a wheelchair.

TWO ex-Ipswich Town footballers have teamed up raise money for a girl who suffers from a rare illness.

Kevin Beattie and John Wark have been touched by the plight of little Bethany Tayla Woods to join a fundraising bid to buy the toddler a wheelchair.

Bethany suffers from Merosin Negative Congenital Muscular Dystrophy which affects about one in 50,000 babies. She has never been able to walk as the condition causes a muscle weakness meaning she has not got the strength to stand up, crawl or even roll over.

Bethany's family is trying to raise £12,000 for an electric wheelchair and will then have to adapt parts of their house to make it wheelchair compatible. This could cost as much as £30,000.

They have already raised £5,000 and they are holding a street party from midday onwards today in Ship Launch Road.

The road will be closed off and there will be a barbeque, live music, a bouncy castle and a prize draw to win a £2,500 voucher from Preston and Duckworth jewellers.

Bethany's lives with her mother Treena, her father Kevin and her six-year-old brother Ryan at Cecil Road, Ipswich.

Mrs Tayla Woods said: "The wheelchair will be a big difference as it will give Bethany a bit of independence. At the moment she cannot get around unless I carry her. She is a lovely little girl who always gives a smile to everybody. We are just grateful for any money that is raised."

Kevin and John will collect signed football shirts and have helped to promote the fundraising events.

Beattie, who heard about Bethany through a friend, said: "John and myself said we will help out because it is for a very good cause. I was asked to help and I didn't have to be asked twice. Bethany is a smashing little girl and very brave.

"When I first saw her I fell in love with her and we are trying to give her a better way of life."

Wark said: "She is an unbelievable girl. I met her a few months ago and it brings a tear to your eye. Kevin told me about her and I was glad to help."

For more information go to www.bethanytaylawoods.co.uk.

FACTFILE

Merosin Negative Congenital Muscular Dystrophy

One in about 50,000 babies are born with this condition and there is approximately 30,000 people in the UK suffering from this illness.

Symptoms include a muscle weakness which mean the person is unable to walk.

As the muscle are weak, this may cause contractures. This means the muscle tendons tighten up and the child is unable to move the limbs or joints as freely as a healthy child.

An operation on the child's spine is sometimes needed to help them sit up straight.

It is not seen as life-threatening but at the moment there is no cure.

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is a UK-wide charity which invests over £1.5million every year into research.


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