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Things looking up for wheelchair-bound 10-year-old

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“MUMMY, I’m almost as tall as you!”

Breanna Medcalfe’s first words when she trialled a special wheelchair that allowed her to stand up would bring tears to any mother’s eye.

Breanna, 10, has always looked up to the world. She has not eagerly charted her growth with pencil marks on a doorway because of her life in a wheelchair as a result of a spinal cord injury.

Her mother, Maria, can help her stand with a special frame, but as Breanna grows that is becoming more difficult.

Maria has sourced a special “standing” wheelchair that can move Breanna into a standing position at the touch of a button, but the cost is out of reach for her family.

But Maria’s family has turned out to be bigger than she realised.

When she decided to fundraise, staff and residents at the Allora Gardens retirement village at Maroochydore, where she works, swung behind to help meet the $33,500 price tag.

They have organised raffles and dipped into their own pockets to so far come up with $7500.

Maria, who has worked at Allora Gardens for only a matter of months, says she has been amazed by the support, which extends through to parent company Lend Lease.

“It’s been quite overwhelming because I’m not used to people being so supportive and helping so much,” she said.

“I never ever dreamed that we’d be able to make enough money to buy the wheelchair, but with everybody’s support we’ll get there.”

For Breanna, a Year 5 student at Chancellor State College who likes reading, drawing, playing the violin and singing in the choir, the wheelchair means a chance of being like the other kids.

“If I was singing in the choir, I’d be able to stand up with all the other kids and be the same height as my friends, and drive around and stuff, and in the library, reach for books,” she said.

“It would also be easier for Mum. She has to lift me in a standing frame at least twice a day and that’s quite hard for her.”

To help raise money for Breanna’s chair, donate at Allora Gardens at a mini health expo and open day from 11am-1pm on Wednesday or go to and click on the link to the Breanna Medcalfe fundraising appeal.

Janine Hill

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