She’s a typical teenager in so many respects.

And the one thing Bethanie Price is really looking forward to as Christmas approaches is a girlie shopping trip.

It’s planned for early next week and 16-year-old Bethanie will be treated to a trip around all the town fashion shops and lunch at her favourite Italian restaurant in Huddersfield.

She’ll be accompanied by friends from the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Brackenhall, who have done so much to help Bethanie since she was diagnosed with a rare condition called Leukodystrophy. There are several forms, and the most common symptoms are a slowdown in mental and physical development

She is one of the many young people being cared for by the Hospice and the staff there are also providing a helping hand for her family, having launched their Wish Upon Your Star campaign, aimed at making the wishes of their children and families come true this festive season.

Bethanie’s mum Johanna Price, from Mirfield, welcomed the help.

“Bethanie was born a healthy, normal little girl. It was when she was seven that she began to get tremors in her arms. We took her to the doctors and she was referred for an MRI scan, where white matter was found on her brain. Despite several years of tests there still isn’t a 100% diagnosis for Bethanie but we believe that she has a rare condition called Leukodystrophy.

“Bethanie is now 16, she has a younger sister Aoifee 15 and a brother Joseph 11. Her body has weakened significantly since her first diagnosis, she struggles particularly with her hands and she is now in a wheelchair.

“Despite this she is a typical teenage girl. She loves shopping, music and going out for lunch with family and friends.

Bethanie Price helps trim a Christmas tree
 

“Every Christmas is special to us as a family, we all come together along with her grandparents and auntie at our house and the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice helps to make our Christmas that extra special too.

“Bethanie has already booked her Christmas shopping trip, two days before Christmas, to buy all our presents with the help of her carers at Forget Me Not. It’s a typical girlie shopping trip with a stop for lunch at her favourite Italian restaurant. T

“This time gives Bethanie her independence; she has the space to be herself and just be a teenager.

“Since the hospice opened in 2012 we have been supported by the charity. Before that there were no charities that could help us. Bethanie has really blossomed over the last two years from the one to one support that she receives, it really has been fantastic. When she stays at Russell House, she gets to do everything that she really loves – watching films, having manicures, nail painting, listening to music, just being herself.

“And for me, the time when Bethanie is at the hospice is when I get the chance to focus on my other two children and for us to do things together that we can’t when Bethanie is with us. We all benefit from the support that Forget Me Not Children’s hospice gives us and we really couldn’t imagine our life now without it”.