YEP made a difference in Marni’s blue badge bid

Gulzeab Ahmed and her son Marni, from Beeston, were embroiled in a blue badge dispute with Leeds City Council this year. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Gulzeab Ahmed and her son Marni, from Beeston, were embroiled in a blue badge dispute with Leeds City Council this year. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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The family of a seven-year-old with a life-limiting skin disease has thanked the YEP for its help in a blue badge battle.

Beeston youngster Armaan ‘Marni’ Ahmed is one of just 14 people in the UK with Harlequin ichthyosis, a rare condition affecting less than 100 people worldwide which causes his skin to crack and opens him up to infection.

Marni Ahmed as a baby.

Marni Ahmed as a baby.

Having defied the doctors to overcome deadly infections such as E. coli and MRSA, Marni faced a new battle when Leeds City Council deemed that after four years with a disabled blue badge he no longer met the criteria in April 2014.

After his mother and carer Gulzeab lodged two failed appeals citing Marni’s daily battle, the YEP highlighted his plight. He needs 24-hour care and is sensitive to heat and moisture meaning the ability to park close to facilities is vital.

The council overturned its decision in March this year, with a spokeswoman stating his case was reassessed with the help of new information.

Gulzeab, 39, said: “It came to the point where I didn’t know where else to turn but I had to do something and fight for what I believed in, I knew we were unfairly treated.”

This week is Local Newspaper Week – celebrating the unique and vital role local papers play – with a theme this year of ‘making a difference’.

To mark the week, the YEP is highlighting how it has helped to bring about change.

Gulzeab said: “We’re very grateful, it’s made a lot of difference to our lives.”

She added that Marni’s story has helped others in appeals and is hopeful the criteria for blue badges will be changed.

Marni has faced further health problems this year, leading to numerous hospital stints during which time his blue badge has proved vital.

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