MORE than £3,200 was raised at one of Swindon’s biggest ever boxing events towards a life-changing operation which would allow little Jayden-Vito Mazzotta-Drapper to finally walk pain-free.
Neilson Promotions organised a 14-bout card at the Oasis on Saturday in aid of the three-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer who is unable to take a single step unaided.
Three-year-old Jayden, of Walcot, was diagnosed with spastic diplegia at the age of one, a muscle stiffness which prevents him from standing on his legs or walking without the support of a frame.
Earlier this year, his family embarked on a Swindon-wide campaign to secure the £35,000 necessary to cover the cost of a complex procedure, which would enable the little boy to recover full use of his legs, and the subsequent months of physiotherapy.
His mother Charlene Mazzotta was overwhelmed by the support of spectators on Saturday. Thanks to the £3,236 collected, the Jayden-Vito appeal pot has now surpassed the £7,700 mark.
“It was absolutely brilliant and in one night we almost doubled what we had raised in 10 weeks,” said the 30-year-old mum-of-two.
“Jayden absolutely loved it. He fell asleep at one point but when they asked him to go in the ring he woke up and started throwing his fists around. They even gave him a gold trophy with his name on it. He held it the whole way home and has not let go of it since.
“We are so thankful to Neilson Promotions and all the people who donated. We are going in the right direction.
“All these events and the appeal have helped Jayden cope with the pain, I think. It stops it from being so daunting and it makes him happy and feel a bit special.”
The surgery Jayden must undergo to recover the use of his legs is known as selective dorsal rhizotomy. It involves cutting nerves in the lower spine responsible for muscle rigidity and lasts between four and five hours. He will have to wait until he turns four to start the testing process and find out whether he is eligible for the operation.
Tony, of Neilson Promotions, was delighted to have exceeded his initial £2,000 target by more than £1,000 thanks to spectators’ generosity.
“People and our sponsors were phenomenal,” said the promoter. “They were very generous. We collected over £1,000 in our buckets on the night. We raise more than £3,000 and that was £1,000 more than we expected.
“From our point of view it was great to get money for Jayden and hopefully we have raised awareness of the appeal.”
An Easter Sunday Fun Day in aid of Jayden complete with a bouncy castle, games, face painting and a tombola, will take place at Kembrey Park on April 20 from 12pm. Entry is free.
To make a donation towards the operation visit The Jayden-Vito Fund Facebook group or go to www.justgiving.com/Charlene-Mazzotta.