Inspirational Cronton Sixth-Form student lays foundation stone for children's hospice

Runcorn and Widnes World: Kate Snape with Paralympic champion Sarah Storey laying the foundation stone for the new extension at Francis House Kate Snape with Paralympic champion Sarah Storey laying the foundation stone for the new extension at Francis House

AN inspirational student has helped lay the foundation stone for a vital centre which supports youngsters with a short life expectancy. Kate Snape, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a muscle-wasting disease that affects the spinal cord and nerves, was joined by Paralympic champion Sarah Storey at Francis House in Manchester last year when building work started. The 17-year-old is currently studying A levels at Cronton Sixth Form College in the hope of a career in medical research to help others with a condition which means she will never walk. Kate, from Penketh, said: “I need assistance from my carers with lab work but I manage though I realise that studying science will become more difficult as my condition worsens. “I’m quite lucky in some respects to have the abilities I have got but I don’t have the luxury of being able to put make-up on and can’t do little things like lift homework books because they’re too heavy.” Francis House Children’s Hospice has provided a much-needed escape for Kate for the last decade with a new building set to open in the spring. Kate, who has twin sisters Isabelle and Esther, aged 12, added: “Hopefully, because there are more beds I’ll be able to come in more often and there’s a separate room which accommodates friends. “My family are brilliant with me but I feel as though I’m going to them every five minutes for some help. “Coming here gives them a break as well.”

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