Medical charity grant helps Shipston CF sufferer purchase indoor exercise bike

Francesca McEwan, 9, of Shipston-on-Stour is helping herself manage Cystic Fibrosis (CF) by daily pedalling sessions on a new indoor exercise bike, thanks to a £2000 grant from medical charity WPH Charitable Trust.

Francesca actually has two genetic conditions which are improved by regular exercise – CF, and Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy (HMSN) - a recently diagnosed form of muscular and nervous wastage – both of which require regular activity to delay the onset of worsening symptoms.

Exercising on her bike allows Francesca to look after her chest and keep her airways clear, as well as supporting normal bone and muscle development, and helping to keep her generally fit. And having the bike at home means she can use it with her sister and friends, making her less isolated from friends and peers.

The Varibike allows Francesca to select from a choice of tracks and challenge herself and her friends to complete the circuits in record times.

Her mother, Anne McEwan, said: ‘It has been used every day since it was installed and Francesca is really enjoying it, especially when she feels like she is peddling around various tracks which she can pick on the laptop.’

Anne McEwan applied for the grant to WPH Charitable Trust, with the assistance of Francesca’s specialist physiotherapists at Oxford Children’s Hospital, via the charity’s website. She stated that the grant was required to keep her as healthy as possible after her recent diagnosis of the second condition.

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