Tess Powis has a disability which requires expensive equipment and treatments
Tess with her mother Cathy. Picture: Fiona Jane Photography
May 9, 2023
A fundraising cricket match is to be held later this month for the benefit of a severely disabled 4-year-old from Acton.
It has been organised for Monday 29 May at the Chiswick Cricket Club on Riverside Drive by the parents of Tess Powis who was diagnosed with epileptic encephalopathy at the age of three months.
She is non-verbal and unable to walk or crawl, has little sight and little external awareness. She suffers over 20 seizures each day and no known cause has been found for her epilepsy to date. She needs expensive treatments and equipment to improve her quality of life. Her parents, who live in Acton, Cathy Malins, 42, a part time investor relations manager, and Leif Powis, 37, a stockbroker, have organised this event to help pay for ongoing therapies.
The match, which will include some star players from Middlesex County Cricket Club will be accompanied by a range of activities for all the family on the day. There will be a bouncy castle, face painting, a chocolate tombola, a sensory area and story for children with special needs and we have a surprise visitor coming to see the children.
Raffle prizes include a 1 to 1 cricket coaching with Middlesex legends Sam Robson and John Simpson at Lords, signed cricket merchandise, a three-course lunch for two at The River Cafe and a month's free membership to the Yoga West studio in Acton.
Despite her condition, Tess loves to get out in the open air in her wheelchair, listening to music, being in water and spending time with her family.
Medication and other traditional treatments have had little effect, though treatment with medicinal cannabis and a hyperbaric oxygen chamber have seen pick ups in development and a reduction in pain.
Cathy said, ‘Like any parents we simply want to do the best for our daughter. For Tess, this means paying for therapies and equipment. While she is resistant to conventional treatment, we are learning all the time about new promising approaches for brain conditions, including some particularly interesting options in America. We refuse to give up on her and will do everything in our power to give her access to these treatments, but all these things are very expensive.’
Leif added, ‘We are so excited to be harnessing the community spirit of cricket to raise funds for life-changing therapies for Tess. The match itself will be in the fast paced T12 style (12 overs per innings) which makes it likely to be a high scoring and exciting game!’
The family, who also have two other children, Teddy, 6 and Patti, 2, has already raised more than £27,000 through a series of events, including a 100km run which took place in Leif’s home country of Australia.
The family have already raised over £27,000. Picture: Fiona Jane Photography
Entry to the cricket match will be free of charge, with food and drink available and guests encouraged to donate.
The family is being supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope which helps families fundraise for children like Tess with healthcare needs where the NHS can’t support and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.
Gill Gibb, Tree of Hope CEO said: ‘It’s great to see Tess’s family have so much support and we wish them all the best with their fundraising and this fabulous event!’
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