Boy with Dejerine-Sottas in the news

My trusty sidekick Google alerted me to the following story of a boy with Dejerine-Sottas in England whose horseback riding program may be cut due to lack of funds and volunteers.

Michael Murphy, 13, has Dejerine-Sottas disorder, which affects the nervous system. He attends the centre every week instead of doing physical education lessons at his school in Mill Hill.
He has won a number of dressage awards and will be representing Great Britain at a dressage competition in Belgium next month.
His mother, Sue, said: “It would be terribly sad if the centre had to close on a Sunday as it really benefits the children and adults that come here.
“Parents are also encouraged by watching their children progress and I have been so happy to see my son not only enjoying himself here but also getting exercise to strengthen his core muscles.”

Knowing the way these things work (at least here in the States) I have to wonder if Michael took up horseback riding because his school doesn’t offer an adaptive physical education program and won’t accommodate him in a regular P.E. class. In any case, kudos to Michael for his achievements on horseback!
Full article after the jump.


Riding school in Elstree could close on Sundays due to lack of volunteers
By Suruchi Sharma
A RIDING school for the disabled in Elstree could close on Sundays if more volunteers are not found to help.
Penniwells RDA Centre, in Edgwarebury Lane, has up to 30 disabled children and adults on a Sunday with a total of 140 through the week.
The centre is reliant on volunteers and also requires up to three people for each rider.
Instructor Sarah Healing said: “If we cannot boost our Sunday volunteer base then we are going to have to close and all these riders will lose out.
“For many this really is the only exercise they can take part in all week. In the last few weeks we have already had to cancel some sessions and so we desperately need those volunteers who have drifted from us over this particularly hard winter to come back.”
Michael Murphy, 13, has Dejerine-Sottas disorder, which affects the nervous system. He attends the centre every week instead of doing physical education lessons at his school in Mill Hill.
He has won a number of dressage awards and will be representing Great Britain at a dressage competition in Belgium next month.
His mother, Sue, said: “It would be terribly sad if the centre had to close on a Sunday as it really benefits the children and adults that come here.
“Parents are also encouraged by watching their children progress and I have been so happy to see my son not only enjoying himself here but also getting exercise to strengthen his core muscles.”
Volunteer Pam Hooper, 71, from Borehamwood, said: “I actually joined as a volunteer after my husband read an article in the paper so I hope other people will see this and want to help.
“I had experience as I used to ride in my twenties. People are very busy nowadays but it is for such a worthwhile cause.”
Ms Healing added: “It is not only the riders’ who benefit but also the volunteers themselves. It is such a rewarding and exciting place where you really can make a difference.
“Volunteers can be between 14 years to 80. We have many things for volunteers to do and it is not just about the ponies and riders. If anybody is good at maintenance, plumbing, gardening then we would love to hear from them.”
Some experience with horses is preferred but not essential as all volunteers receive full training.
Sunday hours are 9am-1.30pm but the centre welcomes volunteers for a minimum of two hours also.
Anyone interested in volunteering at the centre can contact Penniwells RDA Centre on penniwells.rda@btconnect.com or 0208 207 4525.
For more information log on to www.penniwellsrda.org.uk
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http://www.borehamwoodtimes.co.uk

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