Chichester schoolgirl, 5, receives life-changing new wheelchair

Leah Weller with her family
Leah Weller with her family

A five-year-old girl from Chichester has been presented with a new powered wheelchair to allow her to move around independently.

Leah Weller, who attends St. Richards Catholic Primary School, was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease, making her too weak to walk or stand unaided.

Leah Weller with her family, Genting UK and CHIPS staff

Leah Weller with her family, Genting UK and CHIPS staff

Leah had been using a small powered wheelchair which did not give her the correct support, so she has now been presented with a new specialist wheelchair with a hi/lo function, allowing her to adjust the height of the seat herself.

The wheelchair was provided by CHIPS Charity and Genting UK at Genting Casino Southampton to enable Leah to 'get around easier at school' and make it easier for her to interact with her friends and classmates. The all-terrain wheels also mean she will be able to access the school sports facilities.

Mum Claudia Weller said: “Having this wheelchair means so much to Leah.

"It offers her a level of comfort and additional features that will change her life for the better. She spends many hours in her chair, and it will give us all peace of mind knowing that she is more comfortable and independent. The impact that this will have on Leah’s life is huge and we are so grateful for everyone’s generosity.

"Leah and I would like to say thank you to Genting UK, CHIPS Charity and the marathon runners for raising funds and presenting Leah with this new powered wheelchair."

The powered wheelchair was funded by Genting UK, which had five employees run the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon in June 2018, raising £50,000. The money was donated to CHIPS (Children's happiness involves people), founded to raise funds to purchase specialised powered wheelchairs for young people with varying disabilities.

Jon Duffy, director of corporate assurance and regulatory affairs at Genting UK, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to present Leah with this brand-new chair and it is wonderful to know that it will have such a positive impact on her life.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you Irene Nuqui and rest of the team for all the effort they have put into raising money for such a worthy charity.”