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Harrogate Mayor backs fundraising effort for Ripon girl with rare muscular disorder

Harrogate Mayor Stuart Martin has backed a fundraising effort for a 10-year-old girl from Ripon in need of a new power wheelchair. Ellie Renton suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a rare neuromuscular disorder that causes progressive muscle wasting, and needs a power wheelchair to get around. But Ellie has now outgrown her wheelchair, which in turn could cause respiratory and life-threatening complications, and Ripon resident Cllr Stuart Martin has urged the local community to come together for a young girl in need. [caption id="attachment_2631" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] 10-year-old Ellie from Kirkby Malzeard, Ripon, has outgrown her current powerchair.[/caption] Speaking about why he wanted to get involved, Cllr Stuart Martin said:

"It's just such a worthwhile cause to support. "I know it's difficult for people financially at this time and with Christmas coming up it makes it twice as difficult, but if you can help, no matter how small the donation, please help because giving Ellie the independence she deserves is what it's all about. "If everyone in Ripon gave one pound, we could get Ellie the wheelchair that she needs."
Martin Renton, Ellie's Dad, tells of the importance of the powerchair on her fundraising page:
"Ellie's power wheelchair gives her a lot of independence and the ability to interact with her peers and elders on her own terms. "Her current powerchair is now too small for her and does not provide the correct postural support she requires as she grows. "Posture is so important as Ellie’s muscles are not strong enough to hold her upright and her weak respiratory muscles make it difficult for her to cough effectively, making Ellie more vulnerable to chest infections, which could be life threatening. "Ellie has previously had surgery on her spine to help her posture and she is scheduled to have more surgery before the end of the year. For this surgery to be most successful, and for Ellie to maintain this level of health and independence, Ellie needs to be in a wheelchair of the right size and support."
To find out more about Ellie's fight against her condition and to donate towards her new wheelchair, visit her fundraising page here. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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