A MORPETH community group has helped a young boy’s dream to one day walk unaided.
Five-year-old Archie Anderson was diagnosed with cerebral palsy just after his second birthday and is only able to walk very short distances before he needs to be carried or transferred to his reinforced pushchair.
Earlier this year his mum and dad, Marie and Allan, heard about a revolutionary operation that would greatly improve his mobility and way of life, but it would have to be done at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in the USA.
There is an opportunity for the operation to take place in July as Archie, who lives in Ashington, has had confirmation that his case is suitable for this treatment.
The costs involved, which also include a four-week stay in the USA and intensive physiotherapy, will be about £50,000 so a fund has been set up called Archie’s Dream.
When Morpeth Lions Club heard about the fund it agreed to donate £500 and a cheque was recently presented by President Dave Wheeler.
He said: “It has been a pleasure to meet Archie, who despite his problems remains a very cheerful boy.
“The club is pleased to assist in the hope that Archie’s Dream will come true. I feel sure that the generous local public who kindly support our club will agree this is money well spent.”
If the family raises the money, the operation will strengthen the muscles in Archie’s legs and one day he may be able to walk unaided.
Mum Marie said: “Allan and I are so grateful to Morpeth Lions Club, who together with many other generous donors have brought the total raised so far to over £7,000.
“With Christmas putting everyone’s budget under pressure, it is particularly humbling that this cash has been forthcoming.”
The appeal has got off to a flying start, raising more than £10,000 in its first four weeks, but there is still a long way to go if the St Aidan’s First School pupil is to travel to the States for the operation.
A fund-raising children’s Christmas party will be held in Ashington later this week and The Rotary Club of Bedlingtonshire Trust Fund has decided to help raise money.
On Tuesday, December 20, an open swim will take place at Collingwood School, Morpeth, where Archie enjoys swimming lessons, and hardy souls are being asked to sign up for a New Year’s Dip at Whitley Bay.
Anyone wishing to make a donation or take part in any of the fundraising activities can find out more online at www.archiesdream.co.uk