Local nine-year-old girl with Rett syndrome receives $11,500 donation for stair lift

By Taylor Chartrand
May 18, 2019 - 6:23pm Updated: May 21, 2019 - 7:30pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB - It's known as 'Rett syndrome' and it impacts 1 in every 10,000 girls worldwide.

Here in Medicine Hat, nine-year-old Madi Wick was diagnosed with the condition at the age of three.

"Most kids with Rett syndrome will develop naturally until about their first birthday and then start to regress and lose some of the skills that they've started to learn," said Madi's stepfather, Ryan Kingsley. "So, it has left Madi in a wheelchair permanently. She can't walk, can't talk."

Due to her condition, Kingsley explained that Madi is very reliant on assistance in her everyday life.

"She's very dependent on us for feeding, bathing, getting up and going to bed. For everything she does, someone has to be there."

Which can make their life at home somewhat difficult.

"Currently she's living upstairs in a bedroom, but the upstairs bathroom is a typical bathroom. So, there's a lot of transferring her. We're getting quite worried, as she's getting bigger and older and we're concerned that doing transfers is going to be a little bit more difficult for us and become dangerous for her."

Which is why Kingsley and his wife Kalle are now doing renovations to their house to better accommodate Madi.

This leads us to today's $11,500 donation from the local United Commercial Travelers (UCT).

"It's going to help us install a chair lift. We're in the midst of attempting to modify the basement so we can get Madi safely up and down the stairs. We're going to have an accessible bathroom and bedroom for her in the basement. So, this is actually going to help us facilitate getting her up and down the stairs very safely." 

Throughout the year, the UCT does several fundraisers like meat-draws, bingo's and casinos to help families in need throughout our community.

Vice-president Rodney Wilson said donating to Madi was important to their organization.

"We seen a request come in for Madi requiring a stair lift and our mandate as an organization is to help those in need," explained Wilson. "In this case, we seen a great benefit to the family and Madi. So, of course, that's important to us as an organization."

Wilson then furthered his comments by stating it's crucial to support those in need within our community.

"The cash requirements aren't always there for those that need assistance. But, it was a good donation to pay for the lift, so Madi could enjoy her basement."

Now, Kingsley said the chair lift has been ordered and the renovations to the basement are underway.

"Now that we've received this donation, we've gone ahead and ordered the lift," said Kingsley. "So, it's now a matter of getting the renovations finished so it can be installed. We're hoping to have it complete sometime over the next couple of months."

Kingsley said without the support of the community, this would've been a very difficult process to tackle on their own as a family.

"This community is great, they've supported us on many different occasions. We've been very fortunate to live in such a supporting community. I'd like to thank everyone involved. It means a lot to receive this support." 

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