The Royal Air Forces Association keeps members of the RAF family connected. This can be when families are separated through work, but the charity also helps families enjoy time together when health issues make it more difficult.
This was the case for the Lewis family. Dad, Sergeant Dan Lewis, a Non-Destructive Testing Technician stationed at RAF Brize Norton has served in the RAF for 18 years, serving in the UK, as well as overseas in Afghanistan and the Falklands. When his first child was born ten weeks early Dan and his wife, Laura, were told their new daughter had a bleed on her brain. This could have cleared up leaving no long term effects, but sadly for Mair this was not the case.
By the age of two Mair still wasn’t walking. Dan and Laura struggled to get a diagnosis for their daughter, but at three they were told she had cerebral palsy and global development delay. She was walking by then, but was not very steady. She still struggles with her balance now, at the age of five.
“As a family we love the great outdoors and spend as much time outside as possible,” said Dan. “Mair has a younger sister, who is three, reaching all her targets, one of which is riding her bike. It pained us to see how much Mair wished she could do the same, so we approached the RAF Association to see if they could help us buy a tricycle for her.”
Cycling is definitely something that is important to the family, as Dan represents the Royal Air Force as part of the RAF Cycling Team. Thankfully the RAF Association were able to help the family continue enjoying their favourite pastime together.
“We were extremely pleased to be able to support this request. We could see what a huge impact a tricycle would have, not only on Mair, but on the Lewis family as a whole. We wish them all many miles of happy cycling,” said Rory O’Connor, Director of Welfare and Policy for the Association.
Dan and his family are thrilled to have had this support from the RAF Association. “Mair absolutely loves her tricycle,” he said. “She beamed when we went to collect it and has a huge smile on her face every time we go out for a ride. It’s great that she can ride around with her younger sister at last.”