Parents of girl, four, with a rare cancer denied blue parking badge

  • last month
Parents of a four-year-old girl with a rare form of bone cancer were denied a blue parking badge because they "didn't meet the criteria".

Richard King, 44, applied for a blue badge permit for his daughter Tilly, aged four - who uses a wheelchair, after she was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer.

Dorset County Council got back to Richard and told him that they "didn't meet the criteria".

For a Blue Badge to be eligible the medical condition that affects mobility must endure for three years or more.

Richard contacted the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) team but it will take 15 weeks before they can assess the claim, he says.

He said he was "disappointed" with the news and appealed the councils decision but is yet to hear back.

Richard, a business owner, from Wimborne, Dorset, said: "It's just annoying because if someone had a little bit of compassion and they saw Tilly in a wheelchair, they would be like, 'It's an easy case, no problem here's your badge'.

"Were not even asking for a permanent one. We want something temporary.

"If they give it to us for like four to six months and if we don't need it after that period, we would happily give it back."

In October 2023, Tilly experienced a "slight limp" in her left leg and her dad took her to the GP where they recommended she go to hospital.

Tilly received several X-rays at Poole Hospital, Dorset and had an MRI on October 16, 2023.

The results were inconclusive and they said they needed to discuss further with Southampton oncology department and Stanmore orthopaedic hospital.

Tilly went for a bone biopsy at Stanmore and was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in her left femur in November 2023.

She started chemotherapy later on in the same month and had nine rounds of the treatment.

Tilly also had her ovaries removed in December 2023 to preserve her eggs.

In April 2024 she had a operation to remove two thirds of her femur and replaced with a donor and prosthesis.

She has been left in a wheelchair since and is not allowed to put weight on her legs for six to 12 weeks.

Richard said: "We are undergoing regular physio at home by us and attending Poole hospital twice a week for land and hydrotherapy by a specialist physio."

They anticipate that she will be walking by christmas but this is not guaranteed.

Straight after the operation Tilly could only use a wheelchair, and a social worker applied for a blue parking badge by filling in an application on via the council's government website.

On the same day, Richard's social worker received an email to say that his application for a blue badge was rejected.

Richard's wife Lisa, 46, said: "Our social worker at the hospital tried to get the application in prior to the operation so that we left the hospital with a wheelchair and that we would have the badge."

"She couldn't even get to the application stage. She tried to appeal it but that is kind of where we got to with it."

"She got our local MP involved, he had no success either with them and it was near election time so we thought we can speak to them and see if it had any sway, but no."

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “English councils manage the Blue Badge scheme on behalf of the Department for Transport (DFT).

"Their guidance states: 'In no circumstances should a blue badge be issued to applicants with a temporary disability or for a period of less than three years.'

“As we are mandated, without discretion, to follow DFT rules, we are unable to issue a badge to the family in this instance.

"Hospitals can usually provide similar passes to their patients to improve access to their facilities but, as the treatment is being received outside of Dorset, it is entirely at the discretion of the hospitals as to whether they can do this for the family.

“We’re sorry we’re unable to provide a Blue Badge on this occasion, but wish Tilly a speedy recovery.”