Disabled pair reveal how to avoid using wheelchairs with Ability Bow therapy
- Credit: Stuart Wilson
A brother and sister with a rare genetic nerve condition are appealing for cash for a disability therapy gym in Bow which has helped them avoid having to use wheelchairs.
Christine and Ken Lilley have hereditary spastic paraplegia which severely affects mobility and speech—only one in 77,000 of the UK population has it.
They have donated £200 to a "get fit" online campaign after starting treatment at Ability Bow gym in St Stephen's Road, Old Ford, but need more pledges by November 15 to be eligible for community grants.
"All my life I knew something wasn't right," Christine revealed. "I was never coordinated at things like driving and felt isolated as my disability can be hidden to those who don't experience it."
The pair, both from Limehouse, were diagnosed after symptoms like bladder discomfort, muscle straining and loss of balance when walking.
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Ken explains: "I was regularly falling over and lost interest in walking or going to the cinema. But the gym gives me an outlet to socialise as well as managing my condition."
The 59-year old gets one-to-one therapy which he believes is why he's not in a wheelchair.
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Ability Bow's online appeal has £5,500 so far from wellwishers, being doubled by Tower Hamlets Council match-funding to make it eligible for community grants.