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A MELKSHAM family are trying to raise £45,000 to pay for a life-changing operation for their little boy.
Two year-old Raife Wilson has cerebral palsy, a condition which affects movement and co-ordination, making it hard for him to balance.
His family and friends are trying to raise £45,000 to pay for special surgery at Bristol Children’s Hospital which will help him walk on his own. Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is an operation used to improve spasticity (muscle stiffness) in cerebral palsy, but is not currently available on the NHS.
They have already raised £8,000 from fundraising and donations.
Raife’s mum, Laura Wilson said, “We started fundraising for the operation in December and have so far raised £8,000. We’re a long way from hitting the £45,000, but we’re determined to reach it.
“We didn’t have a target time to reach the £45,000 until recently when we noticed Raife was developing orthopaedic problems and we knew the longer he had to wait for the operation, the more pain he would be in and potentially he would have to have more operations in the future. So we are aiming for him to have the operation in the summer of next year.
“It’s been difficult asking for people’s help in raising the money. It’s sort of against your natural instincts as a parent to ask for people’s help when it’s your child. But trying to organise fundraising events, work full-time as a nurse and be a mum to three children was just too much. Thankfully, local businesses and groups have already been very generous and we’ve had a lovely response from the community. We would welcome any help with fundraising, you could hold a cake sale at work, organise a raffle or even a sponsored silence! However much you raise will be a huge help to us and so appreciated.
“We haven’t told Raife too much but he knows he has poorly legs. As he gets older though I think he is becoming more aware of things. He can’t keep up with the other children and he has to do his stretches and exercises which can cause him pain. But he is the strongest and most determined little boy, so we will do whatever it takes to raise the money to help him reach his full potential and to allow him to run around just like all his friends.”
Last month, Persimmon Homes Wessex, who are building the George Ward Gardens estate, gave the family a donation of £1,000 as part of the company’s Community Champions scheme.
Pauline Fletcher, sales and marketing director for Persimmon Homes Wessex said, “We’re so pleased to present Raife and his family with this donation. He is such a brave boy who has faced a lot of difficulties and we couldn’t be more honoured to help them.
“This is exactly what our Community Champions scheme is all about. Supporting good causes to make a positive change.”
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/raife-wilson or to contact the family, search Raising for Raife on Facebook.