Christmas comes early for Mason Gittens
A LITTLE boy who suffers from cerebral palsy has been showing off his new tricycle.
Staff at Asda Kingswood raised £1,000 for nine-year-old Mason Gittens' specialist bike.
His mother, Nikki, 35, of Bransholme, said: "It was like Christmas come early for Mason. He is thrilled to bits with the tricycle.
"The problem is getting him off it. He's never eaten his tea so quickly so he can go on it."
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Nikki, her husband Steve and her mother Sandra have worked at the Asda Kingswood store since it opened 16 years ago.
She jokingly put a request on her Facebook page asking if anyone had a spare £1,000 for the specialist tricycle, after it was mentioned by Mason's physiotherapist.
The next day the store's customer service manager, Shirley Wilkinson, said they would raise the funds.
Staff organised a sponsored bike-a-thon, which was supported by the Life For A Kid Foundation, as well as a sponsored endurance race across the Humber Bridge.
Two weeks later, the money was raised and the tricycle ordered.
Nikki said: "I'm overwhelmed by the support. I can't believe how generous people have been.
"Not everyone I work with is a personal friend, yet everyone has come together to raise funds.
"Everyone has known Mason since he was a baby and they have seen all his struggles and what he has overcome."
The green tricycle gives Mason more independence and strengthens the muscles in his legs.
It has been designed specifically for him, ensuring he can sit up straight, with his feet held in place using special straps.
Nikki, a checkout operator, said: "Every child has that experience of learning to ride a bike for the first time.
"Mason has no independent balance and uses a walking frame. Even with stabilisers he wouldn't be able to ride a normal bike.
"He fell in love with the bike in Leeds but it was completely out of our price range.
"I was only joking when I put the request on Facebook so I was overwhelmed when I was told Asda would help out.
"Their support is amazing.
"Since we got the tricycle he's been out every night riding around the block.
"He goes out with his four-year-old brother, Spencer, who has just got his own bike. It's great they can do that together."
Shirley said staff were delighted to help as Mason is a familiar face in the store.
She said: "It is a cause dear to our hearts because we have watched Mason grow up. I can communicate really well with Mason and I love being able to help him."