Car enthusiasts are rallying behind seven-year-old Leah Kennedy from Co Antrim who suffers from cerebral palsy in a bid to raise funds to buy her a much needed lightweight wheelchair.
A crowdfunding initiative to help the Ballinderry girl has already raised £1143 - but the aim is to secure £6000.
Jonny Kennedy, 31, said his daughter who attends Riverside School in Antrim “wants to be as independent as she possibly can”.
He said although it had been suggested that Leah use an electric wheelchair, “she does not want to do that, instead she wants to be able to manage one herself”.
“For that reason we need a light one that she can handle on her own,” he added.
Mr Kennedy said his family have been “touched” by the generosity of people to Leah’s needs.
The crowdfunding page, which was set up by Sarah Christie, explains: “Weʼre raising £6,000 to help 7 year old Leah get a new wheelchair, she has outgrown her current chair! Oh and you can win a Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000 #car4achair”.
The page adds that many people in the “car community” will know Leah’s father, Jonny Kennedy of Car Life who is “usually taking pics at various shows come rain, hail and shine!”.
It adds: “Well, what a few of you may not know is Jonny’s 7 year old daughter, Leah, needs a new wheelchair. Leah has currently outgrown her current chair and the new one costs a whooping £6000.
“The new chair will give her greater independence and grow with her well into her teenage years.
“We all know we have an awesome car community in NI so it’s time we dig deep and do our best to get this chair in time for Xmas :)
“As a bit of an incentive, for every £10 you donate, your name will be entered into a draw to win a 1998 Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000, 70k miles, MOT until August 2017 and pretty darn unique! Leah will personally pick the winner on 16th October at a cars & coffee event.
“So remember, we can get Leah new wheels and one of you lucky folk will also be getting new wheels :)
A post on ‘Car Life’ Facebook page yesterday thanked everyone involved in the fundraising venture.
It read: “Thank you everyone for making this possible you simply don’t get the thanks you deserve as there is no way I will ever be able to thank you all enough.
Thank you to everyone behind organising, everyone that hits share, everyone that buys a raffle ticket, everyone that comes to events for Leah and everyone one that comes over to say Hello to Leah.
We are on the road to doing something that will be literally life changing to Leah and all by doing something we all love, showing of our cars.”
To support the campaign click here