LITTLE Reece Barends has had a £1,000 boost to his road to recovery after a team of family friends have put their all into paying his treatment.
Year-old Reece was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer late last year, and is currently undergoing his fourth round of chemotherapy with a constant smile.
His mother Ashleigh, 32, moved from Swindon to Cape Town in South Africa two years ago and is facing an increasing bill for the treatment, which is currently at around £8,500.
But after a group of former colleagues dashed around the county in the Wiltshire Scramble, they smashed their target of £1,000.
Briony Curtis, 29, helped organise the event and was joined on the run by seven-year-old son Timmy.
“The Running for Reece team would like to thank all of our family, friends and clients for all their kind donations,” said Briony, who used to work with Ashleigh at the Toni & Guy hair salon in Swindon.
“We have exceeded all our expectations and reached well over our goal of £1,000.
“We had an absolutely wonderful day. Although the run was tough we all did our very best for Reece, and it was all worthwhile in the end.”
Reece is improving and has now regained his mobility after losing the use of his lower body. He underwent a spinal operation to remove part of his tumour, which has seen some successes.
“He is responding very well to his treatment and he is currently undergoing his fourth course of chemotherapy,” said Briony.
“Although he struggles to eat and sleep, as well as getting a lot of infections, he keeps smiling and laughing his way through.”
The team are not going to rest on their laurels and will continue fundraising until Reece, above, is better.
“We are now supporting CURE bears, which has started in the States and is now spreading to the UK, where all child cancer sufferers recive a hope and love teddy bear to have with them throughout their journey as a friend and comforter,” Briony added. “It is a great charity to be involved in for spreading awareness of childhood cancer.
“We are now starting to organise future fund-raising events, including taking on 40 haircuts in 40 hours and our own Running for Reece scramble with help from Events Logic UK.
“We will continue to support Reece and his family until he has beaten cancer, and we are all wishing and praying for him to get better soon.”
To donate to the team, visit www.gofundme.com and search for ‘Reece our Hero’, or donate via Paypal by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org