Funds drive for disabled Wakefield twins

A fundraising drive is under way to help buy a specialist exercise bike for twins Thomas and Matthew Gough.

The 11-year-olds have cerebral palsy and it is hoped the 4,500 machine will help to stretch and build their muscles.

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Already parents Tracy and David raise 3,700 a year to fund additional physiotherapy for the boys.

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Now they have set themselves the target to collect enough for the Medimotion exercise system which an occupational therapist thinks could help.

Thomas and Matthew, from Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, suffered brain damage after being struck down with meningitis a day after they were born.

They were left with cerebral palsy, which affects muscles and tendons, while Thomas is also partially sighted, deaf and has epilepsy.

In 2009, a series of fundraising events collected 4,000 for the private physiotherapy sessions which have helped the youngsters improve.

Mrs Gough, a civilian police worker in Wakefield, said they been told that the specialist bike might help further.

"There are issues with his posture and his spine. He has got a new wheelchair as we were worried his spine was going to start twisting," she said.

"We've been advised that it would be beneficial for Thomas if he got the bike.

"It's like motivation for his muscles to start working."

In the longer term, she said they hoped Thomas might eventually be able to bear weight on his legs, which currently he cannot.

Mrs Gough added that they hoped the bike could also help relax Matthew's muscles which can be quite stiff.

#"You have got to give everything a chance," she said.

So far the family have collected nearly 2,000 towards the cost of the equipment through raffles and cake mornings.

Further plans for other events, including, hopefully, one involving Wakefield-based police officer Mr Gough and colleagues, are in the pipeline.

The family have set up a special bank account with Barclays for money raised for the boys. To contribute, donations can be paid into the account called Thomas and Matthew Gough Trust Fund, account number 13220370, sort code 20-89-68.

Police on patrol in Albion Street, Leeds. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

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