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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Uppies and Downies will help tackle Ana’s plight

A Maryport teenager who is in desperate need of an electric wheelchair will be one of the causes championed by this year’s Uppies and Downies series in Workington.

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GAME ON: Anastasia Balausiask, 15, of Maryport, who needs a new wheelchair, will be helped by this year’s Uppies and Downies series

Anastasia Balausiak’s family spoke about her severe disabilities for the first time this week.

Anastasia, 15, of Mill Street, has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and double sclerosis of the spine.

She also has problems with her legs and developmental delay.

Organisers of the annual mass football game heard about Anastasia from the family of Maryport boy Aaron Jarvis, who shares some of Anastasia’s symptoms.

The Easter series will raise cash for the pair.

Her mum and dad Joanne and Dave said it was the first time they had begun a fund-raising campaign for their daughter.

Joanne said: “We have never even considered asking for anything from anyone else. Why would we? She is our daughter.”

Anastasia, who is known as Ana, would like an all-terrain wheelchair.

Her current wheelchair is worn out but she is not entitled to a new wheelchair on the NHS.

Joanne, who has been diagnosed as disabled because of wear and tear on her back from caring for Ana, added: “The main reason we want the new wheelchair is to give her some semblance of independence. We would like an all-terrain wheelchair so that when her two sisters and brother go onto the beach Ana can go with them.”

Ana requires care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The family have never had a holiday or any respite care.

Joanne added: “I have family here who are supportive. Sometimes when Ana is in bed asleep they will look after her to allow Dave and I a night out.

“But Dave and I are a team. He was eventually advised to give up work to help look after her, which he does.”

The couple have been looking for a good wheelchair for four years but it has been beyond their means.

“Last time I looked they were between £6,000 and £9,000,” added Joanne.

The Uppies and Downies will raise cash for a sensory garden for Aaron, nine, of Ewanrigg Road, and towards a wheelchair for Ana.

Joanne and Dave have also opened a bank account for Ana at the Cumberland Building Society and donations can be left at any branch.

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