Do you want a hand with that Tommy or are you ok on your own? Is an oft heard phrase for us as Tommy was born with a limb Difference. He doesn’t have a right hand and only has a partial right forearm.
This was totally unexpected, and we had no idea about the world of limb difference 7 years ago.
If you want to read Tommy’s story – it’s here on our website.
Tommy inspired us to set up our own charity The LimbBo Foundation which now has a worldwide reach – designing and 3D printing adaptations, organising adventure days, raising awareness in hospitals and schools, liaising with researchers and supporting families.
Tommy and his friend Lottie were given the opportunity to fundraise for a hero arm from Open bionics. These are awesome and are operated by the muscles in their ‘little arms’ it was a daunting prospect to raise the £25,000 that was needed for them to have an arm each so we set up a campaign called ‘Can you give us a hand’. Tommy laughed uproariously when he understood the play on words – look mama we are asking people to help and give us a hand because we haven’t got a hand – do you get it?
This isn’t a request for support as we now have £38,000 in our fund raiser due to the efforts of a brilliant team of friends, parents, children, families a, local press and national press, all excess funds will be put towards bionic arms for other children.
I’ve always been interested in art, nature, crafts and photography. If you know me you will know I go through phases – often coming back to crafts after time. I’ve embraced sewing, Lino printing, cyanotypes, wire wrapping, fabric printing … I just love playing. My current project is learning how to create jewellery from polymer clay. You can teach yourself most crafts by watching you tube and experimenting. I’ve tried different techniques, made 100s of buttons which I’ve donated to charities, joined groups of facebook and have recently discovered the technique of ‘mokume gane’
This suits me as I don’t do controlled, perfect or follow instructions
Whilst shopping I came across a display of cookie cutters – one of which was in the shape of a hand.
These work really well with polymer clay so I’ve added some to my ‘stash’ for charity sales – the next of which is a ladies lunch organised by a good friend in aid of limbBo and Barnsley Youth choir
Tommy and Layla love ‘making stuff’ and have discovered my scrap box of polymer clay and often ask if they can make hearts and shapes. I love this new hobby and the fact that it’s allowing me to do something which is creative, useful and teaching my grandchildren new skills.
Yesterday I saw a video from Theo’s mum, he has 2 limb different arms and was flattening pizza dough with his feet with a proper big smile on his face. This is the norm for our children, this ‘can do’ attitude is a recurring theme on our parents’ page ‘no limits’ and ‘I can do it …’ seems to be their mantra. These key rings are my way of showing that giving them a hand doesn’t ever mean doing it for them it just means enabling them to do things for themselves. Our adventure day this summer is on the 25th August, last year 256 people attended (50 of these were limb different children) there was lots of laughter and lots of tears – but these were tears of joy and pride from the adults watching our amazing children. Have a look at our website and YouTube channel to see what an amazing family Team LimbBo really is.