A PORTSMOUTH car club has bought a new set of wheels with a difference – this time it’s a gift to a disabled little girl.
Abigail Hosey suffers from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
The condition causes inflammation in her joints, making it painful to walk, which means she sometimes needs a wheelchair.
Her parents Natalie and Matt Hosey are part of the Solent Renegades car club, whose members surprised the family with a new wheelchair.
Natalie, 27, of Halstead Road, Cosham, said: ‘When the club presented the chair to us Abigail got a bit teary – well we all did.
‘The chair is brilliant because it means she can still be independent when her feet are hurting too much.
‘We just really want to say thank you to the members for being so considerate and using the money for the wheelchair.’
The money for the chair, which cost £246, came from a pot of money that was being collected for charity.
But club members decided it should be donated to a cause closer to home.
Tracey Hastekin, club co-ordinator, said: ‘We had £246 left in charity funds we had raised and at a meeting we were looking at where it could be spent.
‘Then someone suggested buying a wheelchair for Abigail, as we would be able to see the benefits of where the money went.’
The club worked with Cosham Mobility, in Dorking Crescent, which offered a new chair at a discount rate.
Abigail first started showing signs of JIA last December, but it wasn’t diagnosed until March this year.
Natalie, who works as a till assistant, said: ‘Last December Abigail had been complaining about a pain in her right foot and we noticed it had started swelling. We were all quite shocked when we found out what Abigail had as we have no family history of it.
‘When Abi found out, she got herself a bit upset about it all – especially about going back to school, and not being able to join in with others.’
Now the family hope that Abigail will grow out of the condition in a few years. Otherwise it could develop into adult arthritis, meaning the Medina Primary School pupil would suffer from the condition for the rest of her life.
‘Abi can walk, but after a while it hurts. The doctor said we could get a wheelchair from the Red Cross,’ added Natalie. ‘But they only had adult size ones that were difficult to use. That’s why we are so grateful for a smaller chair.’