Our Pal - Samara M
- Born: 07/03/1995
- Illness: Cerebral Palsy
- Status: Moved On
- Home Page:
NB: this is a forwarding address, we do NOT disclose home addresses
- Parents/Guardians - Paula and Lee
- Interests - Card making, fimo, hama beads, glittering, drawing, modelling clay, Nintendo DS, sparkles.
- Favourite Colour - Pink Sparkles
- Able to read? - Yes
- Able to use hands? - Yes
- Visually/hearing impaired? - No
- Suffers from any developmental delay? - Yes
Siblings - aged 3 to 16 wishing to receive post
About - Samara M
Story written 2007
Sammie was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 2 when I noticed she wasn’t developing as quickly as other children her age. We thought it was because she was born 8 weeks early.
Sammie eventually learned to walk but walked on her toes and has to wear splints and special shoes. She had an operation at 8 to stretch her leg shorter than the left leg and now wears a built up shoe.
She now has a curved spine and suffers from low self-esteem. Sammie can not run like other children and often feels left behind, but Sammie still has a brilliant sense of humour and laughs at herself.
Her favourite thing to do is craft, especially if there is glitter involved and she loves to make cards for people to cheer them up.
Update 1st July 2009
Due to personal reasons unrelated to Post Pals we are having to “Move on” from Post Pals for the moment. Thank you to everyone who has sent post and supported us.
Update 6th June 2009
We are still fighting to get Sammie a place at special school and although she is suitable we don’t have a place as yet. She is much happier in herself I think and it is just knowing that she will not have to stay at the old school that has really made her happy.
Her foot is all healed now and she can wear shoes without her big straps. She is getting so grown up now.
Thank you to all that took part in the card blog challenge and sent the kids gorgeous cards and gifts, it really does make a huge difference to a child’s day. Thank you also to Lorraine for your lovely letter and for the wii game and the DVD. I am still watching it and know nearly every word. Thank you to Catherine for the sparkly flowers, and thank you to Alexandra for my images – I will be very busy.
Update 30th April 2009
Sammie is still struggling at school and we have made the decision to request that she goes to a special school. I am hoping that here she will get the help that she needs but we still have to fight for a place for her. Obviously she is very apprehensive about changing school yet again but fingers crossed it all goes smoothly. We have a meeting about this in May and hopefully the move won’t be long after this.
Sammie has been back to hospital and she has to go back again as her leg is now turning in and causing her to trip herself up, but she is now wearing proper girly shoes and this has pleased her no end.
I haven’t really updated the blog for the kiddies due to PC problems and loosing lots of the pictures I had taken when it went in for repair, but I wanted you all to know they have been receiving mail and a big thank you to everyone who has sent her mail. I think without it she wouldn’t have got through these last few months, but at least she is a bit happier now and this is all that matters to us really.
Update 10th March 2009
I am so sorry that i have not updated the page for a few months but i didn’t really have any answers and we do now.
Samara has had her pot removed and the operation has been a success. She has to wear a splint on her foot for a while until it heals fully, but she will be able to wear normal shoes and her foot looks really good. What a difference this has made to her.
She has to wear a big pair of trainers at the minute as it is still a bit sore but you cannot really tell that she has had anything done to her.
She had trouble with the walking sticks in the snow and kept getting her foot wet but she is without them now and can walk alone and is enjoying the fact she can get her foot in a shoe. She goes back to see the specialist in April and hopefully he will sign her off.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to each and every person that has taken the time to send them post and although i didn’t manage to take photos this time, i promise i will from now on. It has just been very hectic and things have finally settled down. You have kept us all going during this very hard time and we really appreciate it, as do the children.
Big hugs to you all x
Update 6th January 2009
Samara had an operation on her foot the same day as Teej had his. She has had some bone removed from next to her big toe. She is able to walk on a special heel they have put over the pot but has to use crutches. She has not left the pot alone though and it is all falling apart – curiosity had got the better of her and she wanted to see what it looked like and now it is just a mess. She will go to the hospital tomorrow to have it seen to, I am hoping that they don’t put another pot on and just strap it up instead.
She has picked out some boots and some sandals for summer already. She has always had problems with her foot and now it looks so much straighter she will be able to wear shoes the same as everyone else’s. She has not gone back to school and will probably go back next week if she gets the all clear tomorrow.
She has been very down about it all and very quiet. She likes her freedom and being able to go where she wants in the house, but this has stopped her from moving from room to room and she is very impatient. She wants it all over and done with and hopes that the bullying will stop because she will be the same as everyone else. No matter how much I tell her she is perfect she doesn’t believe me.
Thank you to everyone who sent her letters, cards and gifts. She had a wonderful Christmas and it made her feel special that people know about her and sent her post. The generosity of people always amazes me, a small letter can change the day of a child and she had plenty of them and plenty of smiles to go with it.
Update 18th December 2008
Sammie’s operation has been cancelled as they had messed up big time. They are now both going in on 22nd December and fingers crossed they will both be home for Christmas.
Sammie will hopefully just stay one night if everything goes ok, but TJ is down for a few days depending on his amount of pain. Sammie is having her toe straightened and her bone shaved and TJ is having both his legs straightened and his tendons released (non weight bearing for a full 6 weeks).
So it looks like it’s going to be fun and games for us all again this Christmas.
Update 1st December 2008
Sammie is still having a tough time at school and is very upset about it. She goes in to hospital for an operation on the 11th December to straighten her foot up and is very excited about this. She has picked out some new boots already and some sandals for summer! As her mum I am the more nervous one I think!
The bullying at school has made me wonder if I should take her out of school and home school her, but then she wouldn’t get the social skills she needs. The other alternative is to put her in a different school, but this is her third high school and I think we just have to keep her there and try our best to help.
The amount of post she has received this last month has made her feel really loved and she loves reading about what you are all up to. Her blog is getting full of pictures now and she keeps going back to look at it and still cannot believe that people have taken time to write to her.
Post pals has had such a huge impact on Sammie, she is normally brushed to one side by everyone and for her to know that people care about her makes her feel special. A simple letter or postcard can change her day and brighten her world no end. Post Pals has been a God send, thank you to everyone.
Update 1st November 2008
Sammie has been having a tough time of it lately, she doesn’t understand why she has to grow up and why her body is changing and is finding it very hard and spends a lot of time in her room at the minute.
Sammie is also due to go in to hospital for an operation to correct her foot and she is surprisingly looking forwards to this. She will be getting some new boots and shoes soon as the foot is too bent to wear nice shoes at the moment and she has already picked out what she wants.
Sammie has received some lovely things through the post these last few months and a lady from Holland, Nicolette, has made her a gorgeous quilt with kitties on it and it is pink to match her room.
I have set up a blog for all the children so that people can see how happy they are when they receive post and there is thank you’s on for everyone. She loves the idea of being able to put pictures of herself and her brother and sister on the blog and knowing that people can see her. The link is listed above with Samara’s details.
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to write and send her post as she smiles and feels really special with each one she opens.
Update 10th September 2008
Samara has now gone back to school and this term she has a one to one and has settled in much better.
She has an appointment for a scan at the end of the month of her tummy. This means more poking and prodding, but it is for the geneticist. We still have no answers but at least they are looking.
Thanks this month to Becky and Tess.
Update 7th August 2008
Samara has had a good month in herself, she seems to be building up her self esteem and her confidence is coming back.
We still have not heard anything from the doctors about her genes so we still don’t know, but they say no news is good news and we are keeping our fingers crossed it wont be to long now.
Sammie would like to thank the person who sent the hama beads, she was very pleased with those. She was so excited getting lots of post she cannot remember who sent them, so I am sorry about that but if you are reading this, she loved them as they glow in the dark.
Update 1st July 2008
Sammie has had a busy few months. She has been to see a special doctor who just deals with genes and she has been prodded and poked, had x-rays, bloods taken, you name it she has had it. We are still no better off with finding out any answers but it all takes time and as they say no news is good news…
Sammie has also been to see the bone specialist who wants to shave the bones on her foot a bit so she can get a pair of shoes on. Her toes are curling out the wrong way and she is in a bit of pain with them. We have agreed to this and she is on the waiting list and I’m hoping she will have it done while they are on holidays as I don’t want her missing too much of school. Funnily enough she is looking forward to it, as she wants some ankle strap sandals because she has never had any.
Sammie has put on some weight and this is now a big issue with her so we have an appointment with a dietician to see if there is anything we can do to encourage her to eat a bit more. I have hidden the scales so she doesn’t keep weighing herself, she just wants to put weight on and in her words “be normal” but I have told her she is gorgeous as she is.
Sammie is still having a tough time at school and doesn’t seem to fit in no matter how hard she tries, but she has decided that what other people think doesn’t matter and she is trying her hardest at everything now. We held her annual review here last week and her scores are going up slightly so that’s a plus for her and she now does her P.E. lesson without a helper and is holding her own.
Sammie has started to get more creative and has been using fimo. It is similar to modelling clay but you bake it when it’s done. She also loves hama beads – they get everywhere but she makes some beautiful things and to her, crafting is the best thing in the world.
Thank you to everyone for helping to make her smile. Life can be very hard for her but just knowing that people care makes a very big difference.
Can I just put a little thank you here for Shaleise too? She is really pleased with all her letters, cards and gifts, and she has asked me to thank everyone.
Since Sammie has been on Post Pals she has had so much post and it has helped her confidence and made her a totally different girl. No matter how bad her day is she will come home and sit and read her letters and cards. She has got a massive box full now and sits reading them all the time. She is even getting emails and one in particular has made her day so thank you Julia and Sophie. Although she can’t reply by email she will write, she doesn’t feel so alone now.
Samara has had so many hand made cards this month we have had to put a string up to hold them all, and they are all beautiful, thank you.
Samara has had 3 lovely letters and although it takes her a while to finish her own letter she is going to write back to everyone who has written to her.
Thank you so much to Karen who has sent her a watch, she has tried very hard to tell the time and is almost there. What a lovely thing for you to do.
Update 15th April 2008
Samara has been having a really bad time, so sorry for not updating this page for a while, but I have been focusing all my attention on her and she seems to have finally turned a corner. She has been happy, smiling and cheeky, back to her normal self and I have to say it is such a relief.
We have decided not to let her have a big operation as there was a good chance she would be left unable to walk, so we really didn’t want to take the chance and go through with it. When she is older, if she still needs it doing, it will be her choice.
I wanted to thank each and every single person that have sent her letters, gifts and postcards these last few months while she has been down. There is too many to name here, but I just wanted you all to know she is very grateful for it and her bedroom is now full of post and she sits reading it everyday. She even got a cross stitch kit which she was over the moon with.
She joked yesterday that she could wallpaper her room with all her cards and letters now and that it has made her so happy. When you think back to how upset she was a few months ago I never thought she would be back to her normal self and post pals have helped a great deal with this, by showing her that people really do care and are genuine.
Sammie is finally happy at school and the bullying seems to have stopped. We are trying to teach her to tell the time now and she is so funny with it – she said I want a digital watch then I don’t have to bother. She also had some more good news, her film has won another award and she won another amount of money which again she has put in her bank account for when she is older. She wants to be a vet’s nurse and is taking a real interest in animals at the minute.
Thank you once again.
Update 30th January 2008
Sammie has had a brain MRI and stayed awake for it, she didn’t like it very much but at least we will get some answers. She has been this morning to see the specialist and he wants to break both her hips and reset them with pins in, but it will mean almost a year of her legs and then it may not even work. Sammie would love to have this done as she thinks she will be normal afterwards, but we have some serious thinking to do before we reach any decision.
Sammie’s 12 year old best friend has died and she went to the funeral. I felt she should go to get some kind of closure and she said it was nice hearing about her growing up, but she has been very upset and asked a lot of questions. I think I have explained it the best I can, but she is still very upset about her friend and says she will never forget her and I have encouraged her to start witting her feelings down.
Fingers crossed that next month is a happier one for all of us.Due to the unhappy time Sammie has had lately, this site has been a Godsend at cheering her up and making her smile, so thank you to everyone that has taken a moment of their time to do this; it really does make a huge difference.
Update 3rd January 2008
Sammie started the month sad because she lost her Nanna, but with the excitement up to Christmas she soon got over it. She has had the best Christmas ever and was showered with gifts and cards and was so impressed that, in her words, special people had bothered to send her a gift and a Christmas card.
She has met her aunty and has been to stay at her house and she was telling her aunty how special people had sent her cards and gifts and said they must be people that are angels!
She got so excited on Christmas morning she didn’t feel well at all. Her pile of presents was huge and she was still opening gifts at 1pm. She said she took her time as she wanted to appreciate each and every thing she got.
Sammie wants to thank each and every person that sent her a Christmas gift. She had a really good time and loved being part of Post Pals this Christmas.
As her mum, i have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of people we do not even know. Sammie thought she was alone in her disability and has really enjoyed the last year of receiving letters and gifts from people and this has helped her self esteem no end, thank you. Thank you to everyone.
Update 2nd December 2007
Sammie has had some good news. The animation she made won a children’s BAFTA and she has also won another cash prize. The school has asked if we would mind them showing it and putting it in their newsletter, so we said yes. If it highlights disability, I don’t mind where it goes.
Update 30th October 2007
Samara has had an imp month – which means she has spent most of it in her room having time out! She is growing up so fast and has been so cheeky. Whilst most mums would be annoyed at the change in behaviour, to me this proves that she is happy, confident and back on track. She has even had a detention…
Her health has been really good and she has also put on more weight, so things are on the up for our little imp!
Thank you everyone who sends Samara post, it has really changed her life getting letters and cards from people she doesn’t know and some from far away. It has restored my faith in people.
Update 10th October 2007
Sammie is learning to play the oboe. It’s meant to be a nice sound, but it’s awful! The parrot even joins in with her!
Sammie has been to see the specialist again. She will have to go for a brain scan and to see a surgeon as her feet are curving, so it’s looking more and more likely that she will need yet another operation.
The film that Sammie made has been nominated for a BAFTA award so she was really excited at the thought it might win! Fingers crossed it will! Unfortunately we couldn’t make it all the way to London as there were no trains home when it finished, but she doesn’t mind.
She is really enjoying her new school and they are so good with her and are always phoning me up and asking my opinion. She has even made some friends and is so happy, the difference in her this month is amazing…
Thanks to Becky for writing to Sammie and thanks to Julie whose cards always make her smile.
Update 17th August 2007
Sammie is going from strength to strength and has put on some more weight now, so things are looking good. She has now been allowed to take Kei-Kei to agility and help train her up and she is even trying with Foggy now (Foggy is a dog we are training up for Canine Partners who train dogs up to work with disabled people). Her behaviour is getting quite impish again so I know she is back to herself and the Sammie we all love and know…
We are facing yet another battle this time for a dropped kerb but we keep going and Sammie now understands we do this for her not because of her.Sammie also had her eyes re tested and needs some new glasses, so she was happy too…
Thank you to Becky who always makes Sammie smile and a thank you to Helen for the crafting things she sent Sammie, she had a great time doing them.
Update 1st July 2007
Samara has now been removed from school and is getting home schooling until we can find another school to taker her. She was suffering from bullying and seemed to be relieved that it is all over now…
For the first time in months she is now eating and sleeping so in my heart I know we have done the right thing for her, it’s just a shame it had to come to this…
Samara is a very happy little girl at the minute, and we had a letter from London to say the animation she made “The Wrong Trainers” has just won four more awards making that five in total. She got a cash prize; bless her she told me she was saving it in her bank account for college…
Samara has had lots of letters and its great knowing that she isn’t alone and people from all over the world are witting to her.
Update 26th June 2007
Sammie is having a bad time at the moment and is very upset, but I am trying hard to make her feel better. She is going to be home schooled for a while.
Thank you to Sue for emailing me and Sammie as her kind words were really nice. Sammie appreciates every email she receives, so thank you to all the people who have taken time to email her – it makes her feel really special.
Update 10th May 2007
Sammie had an operation yesterday to remove adult teeth from her bones in her mouth. She was in at 7.30am and didn’t get home until 8pm. Her face was very swollen like a hamster and she is very sore. She is in her room chilling out but is bored…
The specialist phoned me up and told me Sammie’s results from her MRI scan had come back ok, so she has got the all clear for another 2 years. This is brilliant news because it means she isn’t getting any worse.
Thank you to our friend Becky who is keeping Sammie’s hopes up. Again, I think this service is brilliant and to know people out there really care is amazing, thank you for your help in making my child feel extra special.
Update 7th April 2007
Sammie went for an MRI scan last week. She was very nervous and they offered to make her sleep while they did it and she told the nurse that she was brave enough to do it awake! She did and it went really well and we should have the results next month.
I was cutting my hair for Canine Partners (a charity that trains dogs up to work with disabled people) as I was getting sponsored for it and Sammie decided she would have her hair cut too. This was a big decision for her and I didn’t think she would do it, but she even shamed her big sister Liddie in to doing it. We cut off 8 inches of Sammie’s hair and Liddie cut of 7 inches. We raised a total of £174 and we are sending the hair to Little Princesses, and she looks so gorgeous with shorter hair…
Post Pals has made such a huge difference to her. She was so tired of just getting appointments through the post and it does make her smile and feel important. Thank you for her birthday cards and gifts and a big thank you to Becky Bulter who has been witting to Sammie and sent her a poem book, she loves it… The sparkly stickers were also a big hit, and thanks to Julie who made an Easter card for them all with chocolate on. They don’t want to eat them – they are that nice!