Isabel gets on two wheels thanks to generous masons

ALL SMILES Isabel Manchip with her new bike from masons in Cosham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131843-2)

ALL SMILES Isabel Manchip with her new bike from masons in Cosham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131843-2)

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HAVING suffered a stroke when she was just a year old, Isabel Manchip is trying to lead an ordinary child’s life.

This has been made more possible with a new bicycle which was bought with money raised from two freemasonry clubs.

Isabel, now two, suffers from left-sided hemiplegia meaning she has little use of the left side of her body.

The illness was brought on by the stroke which damaged around 70 per cent of the right side of her brain.

To help with her freedom and movement, members of Drayton and the Forest of Bere masons raised £1,200 for a bike.

Isabel has had it for almost six weeks and her dad, Eddie, is over the moon with her progress.

The 48-year-old said: ‘The new bike has helped with her mobility and she loves it.

‘It’s pink and has tassels so it makes it more attractive to her.

‘It gives her the chance to ride bikes like other children and to go out with her brother Matthew. But she is like any other child. She’s happy and cheeky and full of life.’

Isabel’s mum Rebecca is part of the women’s masons’ group.

It was through a fellow member, Pat Chalk and her husband Jim, that the clubs decided to raise the money.

Jim, from the Drayton Masonry Club, said: ‘When we heard about Isabel, we wanted to help.

‘We had seen the bike and I asked Eddie and Rebecca if it would benefit Isabel and they said it would.

‘So we held a fundraising night and got the money.’

To help get the money quicker, the Forest of Bere club stepped in and said they would match whatever figure Jim managed to raise.

As well as the bike, Isabel has to wear a support suit which helps her walk and keep her balance.

Rebecca said: ‘The suit has helped Isabel and you can tell the difference when she isn’t wearing it.

‘It helps with her left arm and leg because she tends to ignore them as her brain knows they are weak.’

She added: ‘There isn’t much else we can do for her because she is too young for surgery.

‘But, things like the bike just help her carry on with an ordinary life.’

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