Disabled Southwold boy gets inundated with Christmas cards after appeal on Mumsnet
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A mother who is hosting an 'extra' Christmas in July for her disabled son has been inundated with cards from strangers via Mumsnet.
Katrina Ruthven's eight-year-old son Alexis has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle-wasting condition that is incurable.
He is only expected to live until his late twenties - prompting her to host an 'extra' Christmas for him on July 13.
After posting a message on Mumsnet asking for people to send him summer Christmas cards, more than 180 messages have been received.
The cards are now coming in and the family plans to host an Australian-style Christmas in the sun complete with Christmas tree.
Mrs Ruthven, 30, from Southwold in Suffolk, said Alexis is 'very excited' to have another Christmas with his three sisters and has 'asked for as many cards as possible'.
She added: 'We know that Alexis won't have as many Christmases as most people and with all the hospital appointments, physio and medication, we thought he deserved an extra one.
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'We will be having an Australian Christmas with a barbecue, and we'll be getting our Christmas tree out.
'There will be presents for everybody, he's very excited about it. He knows it's only family presents because Father Christmas is too busy to come in the summer.'
Mrs Ruthven, who has a family history on her mother's side of Duchenne, was 18 weeks pregnant when she discovered she also carries the genetic fault which can cause the condition.
Alexis was six months old when he was diagnosed with the condition, which usually only affects boys.
Mrs Ruthven, said: 'Alexis has a wheelchair that he uses for longer distances.
'He takes steroids 10 days on and 10 days off but that's all there is by way of treatment at the moment.
'We have had a downstairs bedroom built because he is struggling with the stairs and he will lose the ability to walk within the next four years probably. He's not expected to live past his late twenties.'
For now, Alexis loves nothing more than playing in the garden with his sisters Eva, four, Beatrice, three, and Elizabeth, 22 months.
Mrs Ruthven educates Alexis at home and says one of the ways she copes with his prognosis is to 'keep busy' and try to raise awareness of Duchenne.