THE parents of a toddler suffering from a rare nervous system disorder say they are touched by the generosity of the local community.
Dexter Stewart (2) attended the opening of Woolworths in Aveley on Wednesday with his parents Donna and Adam and sister Addison.
The family, from The Vines, was presented with a $500 cheque on behalf of the new store.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous donation we received from Woolworths,” Mrs Stewart said.
“We will be putting the money towards purchasing Dexter a special needs swing for outside.”
Dexter, who uses an electric wheelchair, was diagnosed with Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) last year.
SMA is rare inherited genetic muscle wasting disease that is characterised by a loss of motor neurons, leading to progressive muscle weakening and wasting.
The affected muscles not only include the arms and legs but also internal muscles that affect breathing, coughing and swallowing.
“We have been wanting to purchase Dexter a special needs swing since he grew out of his baby swing and it no longer provided him with enough postural support,” Mrs Stewart said.
“But with our other expenses, it just hasn’t been possible.
“It will be so fantastic for him to have the swing so he can enjoy spending more time outside with his big sister Addison.”
More than 200 family and friends helped raise thousands of dollars at a fundraiser last month to help the family buy and convert a new car to fit Dexter’s wheelchair.
The new Aveley Shopping Centre officially opened on Wednesday. It is on the corner of Millhouse Road and Egerton Drive, Aveley.