Originally written by JASON WALLACE
MAYCIE-LEE Reeves was all smiles when she stood in a posture improving frame that she can now use for as long she needs thanks to the generosity of the Portland district community.
The two-year-old Heywood resident has spina bifida and needs the standing frame to help strengthen her hips and improve her posture in preparation for walking.
She had the frame on loan in April, but it was not available for her long-term use and Maycie-Lee’s family could not afford to buy the frame, which cost over $1000.
An appeal was launched by the Portland Observer late last month and received a prompt response.
Pledges of support and six donations from district residents were received to help the family after former chief of staff Roxanne Punton reported Maycie-Lee’s story.
The Portland Police Social Club then offered its support with a donation from the Less Advantaged Children’s Fund.
Senior Constable Graham Sealey said the new fund replaced the Portland Police Toy Fund, which operated for over a decade to provide vouchers to underprivileged children in the region to purchase toys at Christmas time.
The club has now directed its efforts towards helping families meet the costs of caring for children with special needs.
Senior Constable Sealey said grant decisions made by the new fund would be overseen by a committee of police and representatives of welfare organisations.
He said the Maycie-Lee appeal had attracted the club’s attention as a worthwhile cause and the police were glad to have been able to contribute.
Maycie-Lee’s mother, Corinna Bailey, was thankful for the support the appeal received from the community and said her daughter would need to use the frame for an hour a day to help her development.
She said it was not known how long Maycie-Lee would need to use the device because the speed of her development had surprised specialists in the past.
“It certainly will be a great step in helping Maycie-Lee walk,” she said.
The frame will remain in the district to be used by other children in need after Maycie-Lee has no further use for it.