A Bromley boy with a rare muscle wasting condition needs a new specialist wheelchair to help him live a more normal life, and the community are coming together to raise £22,000.

Six-year-old Charlie has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which means he suffers from muscle weakness and wasting.

He uses a motorised Snap Dragon wheelchair which allows him to adjust his height meaning he can get properly involved with playing with his friends and sit on the carpet with his classmates.

His mum Aimee Spiers, 31, said: “When they’re reading a story he can get right down to the floor and sit with them, he can get right into playing with his friends.

“People can see the person first not the chair, it makes his life so much easier.”

Charlie with mum Aimee and sister Dolly, 2.

Charlie, who goes to Crofton School, was diagnosed in 2010 at 11 and a half months old.

Symptoms of the SMA Type 2, the second most severe type, can be breathing problems, weakness in arms and legs, swallowing or feeding problems and a slight tremor of the fingers.

Now he is almost seven, he refuses to let his condition prevent him from enjoying the same things as his friends, but he has grown out of his Snap Dragon chair.

Miss Spiers said: “He goes to a mainstream school, he sees himself as no different from anyone else.

“He is an extremely happy little boy, he’s always smiling.”

She added: “He has to deal with a hell of a lot but I get more upset than him, he doesn’t ever complain.”

 

Miss Spiers, from Archery Lane, was amazed when the One Inn the Wood pub offered to hold a fundraising event to help get Charlie a new chair now he is growing too big for his current one.

She said: “Someone who has helped fundraise for Charlie at school before put us in touch.

“They called and said they’re going to do a raffle, it is fantastic, everyone is just pulling together, and everyone wants to help.

“It can be so stressful, but he really needs it, it’s so nice to know there are people who want to help."

Miss Spiers added: “It takes the weight off so you’re not doing it all on your own.”

The raffle will be held on July 2 at One Inn the Wood in Petts Wood, with prizes donated by independent Bromley businesses. Tickets cost £1 each or £5 for a strip and can be bought at the pub.