‘It’s essential to get her back to therapy’ – Family’s appeal to help Stevenage girl keep walking tall

Jen Clare standing independently, wearing 'pretty shoes' she asked for when she no longer had to wea

Jen Clare standing independently, wearing 'pretty shoes' she asked for when she no longer had to wear splints - Credit: Archant

The family of a seven-year-old girl who had a life-changing operation to enable her to walk are appealing for help in raising money for vital physiotherapy.

Jen Clare walking with her sister Izabelle

Jen Clare walking with her sister Izabelle - Credit: Archant

Jen Clare, of Kimbolton Crescent in Stevenage, suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy – a condition which makes limbs extremely stiff.

She had struggled to sit up properly or stand until, in January 2012, she went to the USA at the age of three for surgery after Comet readers helped raise the £40,000 needed to pay for a specialist procedure to sever the nerves carrying signals to the brain which cause the muscles to permanently tighten.

Last year, the Comet reported how Jen – who goes to Peartree Spring Primary School in Stevenage – could stand on her own for two to three minutes at a time and walk unaided.

She even walked 400m unaided to help raise money for her friend, Jack Gower from Hitchin, to have the same procedure to help him walk independently.

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Now, the Clare family are appealing for help in raising funds for Jen’s vital physiotherapy to continue.

Mum Charlotte said: “Jen has surpassed all our expectations and has improved more than we ever imagined possible. Her wheelchair now lives in a cupboard and is only brought out when she is exceptionally tired.

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“It’s not been an easy time, though, and has revolved around a huge amount of physiotherapy. Unfortunately, we’ve run out of funds to pay for this and are having to fundraise again.

“Jen’s NHS therapy has been reduced and is just not enough to help her reach her full potential. We’ve noticed Jen has struggled without the input, so it’s essential to get her back to therapy.”

Jen’s physiotherapy costs £140 a session and the Clare family are hoping to raise £7,500 to fund a session a week for a year.

Charlotte, who has three children, said: “In the last year Jen’s improvement has been incredible and we know she can improve further. The more work she does now, the more she will be able to do as she gets older and that will have a massive impact on her life.

“The therapy is ongoing and will be a huge part of her life for the foreseeable future.”

To support Jen, visit gofundme.com/Jensphysio.

Charlotte said: “‘Thank you’ will never truly express just how grateful we are and just how much this means to us.”

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