Seven-year-old Sebastian, from Bourne in Lincolnshire, had neonatal sepsis with enteroviral meningitis, followed by meningococcal B meningitis at the age of 8 months. It’s left him with epilepsy and poor balance and co-ordination, meaning he’s unable to ride a standard two-wheel bike.
But a specially designed and constructed tricycle from our friends at the Tomcat team will enable Sebastian to get out and about on bike rides with his friends and enjoy all the benefits of socialising and exercise that are currently being denied him.
Dad Dale, who made the application to our Rebuilding Futures Fund with mum Victoria, told us: “Sebastian tries to be independent and since being at school he has developed a group of friends who regularly go to the park on their bikes or cycle to school. But due to Sebastian's issues he cannot ride a two wheeled bike even with stabilisers because the pedals are too difficult for him to manoeuvre.
“We have tried a three-wheeled scooter but he cannot keep up with his friends. This leaves Sebastian very upset and he tells us that he has no friends to play with.
“Having this specially built tricycle will allow him to be more independent when at the park with his friends and help with his insecurity that he has no friends, whilst also building up the required muscles to aid his hypermobility.
“In time it should hopefully improve the amount of times he trips over when simply walking.”
Dale added: “I have passed the good news about the trike to Sebastian and he is very excited. We honestly cannot thank you enough and are looking forward to getting Sebastian out and enjoying his new trike.”
Delighted to help
Caroline Lyons, our Information and Assessment Nurse, said: “We’re so pleased to know that the Rebuilding Futures Fund is able to support Sebastian in this way and that it will have such a positive impact on his life.
“We have worked alongside Tomcat before, and their trikes really do provide the individualised specialist support that is required.”
Caroline added: “We know meningitis can have a devastating impact on many aspects of life and affect people’s ability to engage in some of the things most people take for granted.
“That’s where our Rebuilding Futures Fund can make such a difference by providing a practical solution that works.
“We’re proud to provide this unique, life-changing support – the only meningitis organisation to do so in the UK.”
The joy of cycling
Nazia White, Marketing Manager at Tomcat, added: “We’re delighted to again work with Meningitis Now to provide a bespoke and innovative solution for someone affected by meningitis.
“Our range of bikes and trikes mean no one need be excluded from the joy of cycling, whatever their physical ability or degree of learning difficulty.
“Being able to safely explore the world outside, no matter what the challenges, is a birthright of all children and it’s great to support Sebastian to safely explore the world outside his home with his friends.”
Apply to the Rebuilding Futures Fund
Our Rebuilding Futures Fund provides financial, practical and emotional support for people of all ages affected by meningitis.
It comprises four separate areas – Health and Wellbeing; Opportunities; Specialist Equipment; and Bereavement. Each area provides funding towards different types of support, but they are all designed to help people rebuild their futures with hope and confidence.
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from the Rebuilding Futures Fund, please get in touch by contacting your Community Support Officer or our Helpline, on 0808 80 10 388 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on Tomcat’s range see https://tomcatuk.org/.
We have previously funded a Tomcat trike for Aimee; read her story here.
Update - April 2022
We were delighted to see these photos of Seb riding his new custom trike over the weekend - and just look at that beaming smile! Dad Dale says, "Seb enjoyed his first solo bike ride, all thanks to the support of Meningitis Now and Tomcat SNI Ltd. We cannot thank both organisations enough for all their help and support to get Seb mobile with his friends".