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Hebrides News


A four-year-old island boy with a rare muscular condition hopes to finally fulfil his dream of riding a bike as a Lewis community rallies round to help.

Riley Macdonald from the Westside has hereditary spastic diplegia which affects the nerves in his spine making his hips, knees and ankles extremely weak and stiff.

He cannot walk unaided and undergoes treatment at a mainland hospital every three months.

His parents, Colin and Maureen, bought him a child’s standard bicycle a year ago but - despite his undaunting efforts - he is unable to use the pedals.

Now a fundraising drive has been launched to get him a specialist power assisted tricycle.

A soup and pudding event is being held at the Barvas and Brue community centre between 11.30am and 2pm on Saturday.

A fundraising website has also been launched at

Maureen explained: “Riley is a very determined little boy but cannot use his bike.


Young boy with rare condition yearns to fulfil his dream to ride a bike

30 May 2017

“It’s just heartbreaking seeing his face trying to ride it.

“But every time he tries it seems to get harder and harder for him.”

She added: “His dream is to go outside and ride a bike and play with the other little boys and girls beside us.

“He sees his friends out with their bikes and he wants to join them.”

A specialist physiotherapist advised buying a specialised tricycle but a suitable one costs £3,600.

When the Barvas and Brue Youth Café heard about Riley’s plight they organised the fundraising lunch.

Local businesses are generously donating raffle prizes and the emergency service vehicles - fire engine, coastguard, ambulance and police - will be on display.

Colin and Maureen said they are “overwhelmed and blown away”” by the “incredible” support they are receiving.