Express & Star

Cannock charity for disabled children urging people to donate to Christmas toy appeal

A disabled children's charity is urging people to donate to their Christmas toy appeal.

Roman-Reign Gettings has been able to play with specialist toys from Newlife to boost his development

Cannock's Newlife charity, a charity for disabled children, has asked for the help of any would-be Santa's to donate sensory toys this Christmas.

The sensory toys will help children with disabilities and terminal illnesses discover the joy of play, and also help to give them the best Christmas ever, just like baby Roman-Reign.

Roman-Reign Gettings is a one-year-old from Walsall who suffers from a rare genetic condition called D-bifunctional protein deficiency, which sadly is life-limiting and causes the deterioration of the nervous system functions.

However, the sensory toys on loan from Newlife have helped boost his development beyond his doctor's expectations.

Talking about Roman's development, mm Kayleigh, said: "We wanted the sensory toys from Newlife to help with his development and he really likes the ones that are colourful and light up as well as the ones which make noises.

"When we hold these toys above his head now, he has begun reaching for them and will now even move his head to look at them which is something his doctors said he wouldn’t do.

Play is a crucial part of a child's development, including aiding motor function, and can help families bond and distract from pain. The loans of the sensory toys also help parents try out different toys before buying similar play items.

As a result of his condition, Roman experiences seizures most days and has low muscle tone, which affects his mobility. The low muscle tone meant he was struggling to reach for things – but thanks to the toys, he's now making progress.

Kayleigh continued: "Doctors also told us Roman would never be off his ventilator, but he is and now he’s developing new skills too, so it’s lovely to see.

"His siblings all love interacting with him and it’s so lovely to see them playing together with the toys on loan from Newlife. This was the first pod we had received, but we’ll definitely be applying again."

For more information, and to donate to the toy appeal, please visit the Newlife website