Supporting the families who need us this Christmas

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A young boy sits with his parents playing with toy snowmen. They all wear Christmas jumpers.

Leo is a happy three-year-old who loves to give hugs and kisses. He has a condition called cerebral palsy which affects his co-ordin​ation and movement. His mother, Lyn, explains what Scope’s support has meant to her.

“You know that special look when a child opens a present at Christmas? I love to see Leo’s face light up like that. It makes our family Christmas magical.

But things weren’t always so happy. The Christmas that Leo was born was horrible.

It was a difficult birth and they took him off to do tests straight away. He had a chest infection and he wasn’t breathing right. Leo had to stay in hospital until Christmas Eve, and we didn’t even go out to get presents that year.

Over the next year, we noticed he wasn’t doing things that other children did. Then, when Leo was two, he had an MRI scan. When they told me it was cerebral palsy, I couldn’t take it in. I was really, really shocked. I blamed myself.

At first I didn’t want to let Leo out of my sight, worrying constantly that he was in pain. I knew so little about cerebral palsy. I knew I needed help but I didn’t know where to turn. Thankfully, our paediatrician told us about Scope.

One of Scope’s support workers, Ian, came to see us and that’s when things really began to change for our family.

Ian drives a car. He has a great job. And he has cerebral palsy. I needed to see that Leo would be able to do all those things too. Ian gave us lots of practical support and advice about things. We could ask him anything and he’d tell us the truth, never skirting around the issue.

These days Leo is so full of life, outgoing and gregarious. His confidence and sense of adventure are growing all the time. He can’t wait for Christmas.

When I think back to that first Christmas with Leo, I’m amazed at how things have changed. We don’t know what Leo’s future is going to be. But we’re so much more optimistic now. We know he’s going to be fine. If we hadn’t had support from Scope, we’d still be wondering.”

Donate to Scope this Christmas

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We need to raise £160,000 to be there for every family who needs us this Christmas

The perfect gift appeal totaliser - £120,000 raised