Two year old Erin lives in the North East with her parents and her little sister. Her mum, Emma, said “Erin is such a sweetheart. She’s really sociable and loves going to groups where her friends are, and she also likes being outside, going to the park and going on the swings. She’s like any other little girl really, but she has a lot of complex needs on top of that.”

“Erin has CHARGE syndrome, which is a genetic condition that can affect various parts of the body. With Erin, it’s mainly respiratory – she has a tracheostomy and is on oxygen 24/7 because of it, she’s tube fed as she’s unable to swallow, and is developmentally delayed. It can be challenging for us as a family, as she needs round the clock care, whether it’s medication or feeding or taking her to appointments. She certainly keeps me busy, but we try to make sure we have time for fun, too.”

“Erin is tube fed, and was previously fed formula, which worked in terms of getting the right nutrients but caused a lot of bowel issues. Every time we went out we’d need to take numerous changes of clothes and it was really stressful for all of us. We tried a blended diet with Erin and almost instantly the issues cleared up and she was much happier, it was a total game changer. However the blender we had wouldn’t always blend smooth enough and our dietician worried that food may get stuck in her tube. We decided to apply to Family Fund for a Vitamix blender, which apparently ‘can blend a brick’! I was a bit nervous about applying at first, but it was totally fine, the process was very straightforward.”

“The blender has a two litre jug which means I can cook and blend Erin’s food in batches and freeze it which saves me loads of time and means I get to spend more time with Erin and her sister. It also means she can have a much wider variety of foods. It’s a fab bit of kit, I absolutely love it – it seems a bit sad to get excited over something like a blender but it has really made a world of difference to us! We couldn’t have afforded the Vitamix ourselves as they’re really expensive so we’re so grateful to Family Fund for the support.”