Family appeal to buy disabled son a trike

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 June 2015

Shaun and Ellen Rowlands with their children Neave and James.

Shaun and Ellen Rowlands with their children Neave and James.


A FAMILY are raising £2,000 to buy their disabled son a trike to provide him with exercise and to give him the opportunity to make more friends.

James Rowlands, aged four, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in December.

It is a condition which affects around one in every 3,600 males and means his muscles will continue to weaken.

His father Shaun is a full-time carer for James and his wife Ellen, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while she was pregnant with their son.

Shaun and Ellen, who live with James and their daughter Neave, aged eight, in Locking Castle now want to raise money for a trike, which will give James more independence and exercise – as well as raising awareness of DMD.

Shaun said: “Something just didn’t feel right with him. He wasn’t really able to do some of the things I would expect.

“He was not trying to sit up and he was almost too happy and content.

“We had a really big fight with various professionals where we were saying we were not happy and something was not right.

“I thought just before Christmas in 2014 what it was. I had already put two and two together though it could have been different variants.

“I had already steeled myself for it. But it was definitely devastating.”

James will be starting school at Herons’ Moor Academy in September, and the trike will enable him to do more of the things he likes doing, such as going to the park with his family and playing outside.

Shaun said: “He is essentially a four-year-old in a two-year-old’s body.

“He was using a standard trike, but his legs are too long for it 
now. It is a special thing to keep him sitting comfortably.

“He is also getting the muscle benefit and exercise and he can use it without damaging his muscles. It’s therapeutic.”

The family’s appeal coincides with DMD awareness month, and families in North Somerset who are affected by the condition are planning to hold a fundraiser on the seafront later this year.

To help Shaun and his family buy a trike for James, visit

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