Hollie and sister

Families we support

14-year-old Elisha has type 2 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease that causes muscle weakness and progressive loss of movement. SMA is a genetic condition, but both parents must be carriers for it to be passed on and, even then, there is still only a 25% chance that the child will have SMA.

On top of the day-to-day struggles of caring for a seriously ill child, the Wheelers faced years of waiting for a diagnosis, accusations of abuse from healthcare professionals and homelessness. But thanks to their resilience, and with the support of Shooting Star Chase, the Wheelers haven’t let any challenge beat them.

Frank was born in 2008 and for the first three years of his life he was, as mum Rachel describes, “a regular little boy, very active”. Then in July 2011 he had his first known seizure.

Bev and Andy were overjoyed to welcome their first child Barney into the world in 2009 but at six months old Barney began experiencing seizures and was diagnosed with Lissencephaly.

After having two healthy children, Caroline and David were thrilled to welcome a new addition to their family. But straight away Caroline knew there was something wrong with her new son, Charlie.