£6,000 appeal launched to help Hawick’s Natalya get out and about

Natalya Anderson, five, in an electric wheelchair.
Natalya Anderson, five, in an electric wheelchair.

An appeal has been launched to raise more than £6,000 to buy an electric wheelchair for a little girl with an inoperable tumour on her brain.

Natalya Anderson, five, of Hawick, suffers from a glioma brainstem glioma tumour, generating too much fluid on her brain and needing a shunt fitted to drain it away.

She also has left-side weakness, and that has a big impact on her mobility, meaning that she can’t walk without a walking frame but mostly uses her manual wheelchair.

After starting weekly chemotherapy in Edinburgh last October, her mobility has deteriorated even more, and she also now needs a feeding tube as she has gone off all food and water.

Her family want to raise £6,150 to buy an electric wheelchair so that she can have more freedom and go out with friends without mum Ashley Sim tagging along to push her or supervise her in her walker.

Because Natalya can take 10 to 20 steps on a good day in her walker, she does not meet the criteria for a National Health Service electric chair, so her family have launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for one.

Ashley has also expressed her gratitude after being inundated with support when her daughter’s iPad went missing at Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children last week.

On their way home to Hawick last Friday, the family realised Natalya didn’t have her iPad with her.

Ashley, 30, said her daughter relies heavily on her Apple tablet while undergoing her gruelling treatment as it helps keep her entertained and also in touch with members of her family.

An online fundraising page was set up to raise cash for a new device, and its £525 target was reached in a matter of hours.

It was back in 2013 that Natalya was diagnosed with the tumour following a magnetic resonance imaging scan, with medics initially thinking she might have cerebral palsy.

Thankfully, the tumour is not aggressive, but the youngster still needs to undergo chemotherapy until the end of the year in an effort to stop it from growing.

Ashley said she couldn’t thank people enough for their generosity, with one individual even offering to pay the full cost of a new iPad.

She said: “I couldn’t believe how quickly they raised the money for it.

“It puts your faith back in humanity that there are still nice people out there.”

Natalya’s family are now pushing ahead with a separate GoFundMe page to raise cash for a new electric wheelchair.

Natalya has weakness on her left side, and while she can walk a few steps with a frame, she relies for the most part on her wheelchair to get about.

Ashley added: “She is a very brave little girl. Anybody that meets Natalya she melts their heart. She always has a smile on her face. It doesn’t matter how terrible she feels, she can always manage a smile.”

Visit www.gofundme.com/natalyas-electric-wheelchair to support the family’s appeal.