Pop star buys specially adapted bike for Penarth youngster
Updated 9:05am Thursday 3rd July 2014 in Penarth news
POP star Jessie J is set to buy a specially adapted bike for a Penarth youngster, who has a form of cerebral palsy, after she read about her story in a twitter appeal for help.
Former The Voice host Jessie J met seven-year-old Ruby Haxter for the first time on the weekend after offering to help her family in any way she could.
Ysgol Erw’r Delyn pupil Ruby and her mum Vicky Spear were treated to backstage passes when Jessie J took a break from performing at South West Live in Weston-super-mare on Sunday, June 29.
Earlier this year Vicky had appealed for sponsorship in the Penarth Times to help buy her daughter a specially adapted chair.
After family and friends raised more than the £800 needed to buy the P-Pod chair through sponsorship and a fundraising quiz night at Eclipse nightclub, Jessie J then stepped in and offered to buy a much-needed bike for Ruby.
Vicky, of Church Close near Elfed Avenue Church, said the singer also invited them to watch her perform live in Weston-super-mare where they were given back stage passes and treated like royalty.
“It was all so overwhelming it didn’t feel real,” she said.
“It was so amazing to thank her face to face.
“As soon as I saw her I gave her a hug and cried my eyes out.”
She added that the specially adapted bike would cost more than £2,000 and Jessie J had agreed to pay for it all.
Vicky, 24, added that the bike would give Ruby a greater degree of independence and allow her to go on bike rides with other family and friends, something which she has never been able to do before because of her condition.
“Not only will she get the experience of being on the bike but it will also strengthen her legs as she’s going along,” she said.
“We had her assessed for the bike last week and she could use the pedals to push the bike on her own.”
She added: “It was the first time she’s ever been on a bike and we were just gobsmacked.
“I just started crying as I never thought she would be able to pedal it by herself.”
She added that they were also planning on further fundraising events in the future to help buy more specially adapted equipment for Ruby as she gets older, as she would grow out of things like the P-Pod chair and need bigger sizes.