THE parents of a little boy battling cerebral palsy are hoping to help their son get one step closer to achieving his dream — to stand up independently and take his first steps.
Brave three-year-old Finley Braithwaite was born with the disability, which affects his stomach and leg muscles and means he is not able to walk.
Every day the youngster stands in a frame to stretch and strengthen his legs, but if he is ever to walk on his own, he will need intense physiotherapy.
His mum Louise Braithwaite is so determined to give her son the best chance of walking she launched the “Help Finley Get On His Feet” fundraising appeal.
Family and friends are now rallying together to raise £5,000 to pay for extra physiotherapy and a trip to the Bobath Centre in London, a specialist centre for children with cerebral palsy.
Miss Braithwaite, aged 23, of Hamilton Street, Atherton, said: “I first noticed something was wrong when Finley was about 10 months old.
“He didn’t open his hand or grab his feet. He would just lie there and cry.
“Initially I thought it was colic, but then he couldn’t roll over and could never sit up.
“I just knew something wasn’t right so I went to the doctors and that was when he was diagnosed. It was really hard at first because it caused him a lot of pain in his joints.
“Mentally, Finley has nothing wrong with him so he doesn’t understand why he can’t move like other children.
“Sometimes he says to me, ‘Mummy, why can’t I walk?’. He just wants to be like everyone else.”
Finley was recently referred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital but only has access to six week blocks of physiotherapy.
Doctors said he may only ever be able to walk with a frame but Louise, and Finley’s dad Craig Owen, believe he could walk on his own if he had access to physiotherapy on a regular basis.
The family will also have to move to a bungalow to adapt to Finley’s needs as he grows bigger.
Miss Braithwaite added: “Finley is so funny and clever. We just want the best for him. He needs intense physiotherapy if he’s to walk and play football.”
So far the appeal has raised more than £1,400.
To donate or for more information, go to fundrazr.com and search for “Help Finley Get On His Feet”.