Remarkable Woman with CP Sings to Sell Out Crowd
By: Alex Shipman
And the remarkable 35-year-old, often seen with her assistant Labrador Gino, performed last night to a sell-out crowd as part of a 150-strong choir at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre.
Becky, from Hatherley, was hospitalised several times between January and March this year after falling over in her home while moving onto the settee.
But friends have raised more than £13,500 to afford an electric multi-terrain wheelchair which allows her to stand up and sing comfortably on stage.
Surrounded by her peers, she captured the imagination of an attentive audience with her performance on July 11.
Becky is a fundraiser for Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and has abseiled down the Eagle Tower and sky dived from a plane in order to raise money. She is also an actress at The Everyman.
Years of managing cerebral palsy with a standard wheelchair have strained Becky’s body to the point where she has no strength on one side.
Without the help of the wheelchair and Gino, who opens doors and removes her clothing, she would struggle with daily activities.
Speaking before the show, Becky, who joined the choir over a year ago, said: “I’ve always used an electric wheelchair but the last one was bog standard. This one is safer, it strengthens my muscles and allows me to stand.
“Gino is fantastic as well and so important to me. He picks things up off the floor that I need and opens doors for me. He also takes my shoes off and my jacket when I get home.
“He will be part of the performance tonight as well because he lies in front of me on stage.”
The chair, a Chasswheel Four X DL designed by Mybility, has four motors to power each wheel and the split differential axles allow for navigation of higher or rough ground – and even larger stones or steps.
It allows moments where Becky can stand, have enhanced blood circulation, easier breathing and a reduction of contractures.
Louise Partridge, head of education at The Everyman, said: “This chair is fantastic.
“It will not only allow Becky to manage a variety of terrains which will give her more independence and mobility, it also allows her to stand and reach things, stretch her body and exercise her limbs.
“She will even be able to order a drink at the bar.”