THE families featured in our Help Us Walk campaign have thanked Swindon people for their overwhelming generosity.
The parents of Jack Pike, Robbie Davies and Alycia Ellis say the public’s support has been a great comfort to them as they continue to raise funds in the hope that one day their children will be able to walk independently.
Three-year-old Jack’s family, from Penhill, have already raised more than £17,500, with more still to be counted, despite not yet knowing whether or not their son will be able to have the selective dorsal rhizotomy in the UK.
He is too young to be considered by the NHS for surgery at the moment.
Mum Kylie said: “We want to thank everybody for their support.
“It has been nice meeting the other parents as well, hopefully we will all keep in touch.
“The support has been brilliant, we have had people calling up and wanting to donate, it has been amazing.''- Natasha Ellis
“I see Natasha at school because Jack’s brother, Kieran, goes to Abbey Meads and so does Alycia’s sister.
“The campaign this week has made more people notice what is going on, everybody is saying ‘we have seen Jack’s beautiful face in the paper.’ “We are still crossing our fingers that NHS Swindon will fund Jack’s operation at Frenchay.
“Jack doesn’t turn four until January, once he turns four then we can have an assessment with the surgeon.”
For Alycia Ellis’ family, their fundraising journey has only just begun, but they managed to raise more than £1,000 from a bag packing session at Asda last weekend.
And a fundraising challenge by motor neurone disease sufferer Paul Wilkinson saw another £1,000 added to the pot.
Alycia has been refused the operation in this country and her family are now hoping to raise £50,000 so she can have the operation in America.
Dad Chris, an undertaker of Croft Road, said: “We had a fair few notes dropped in the buckets which was brilliant.
“We can’t fault the general public at all, they seemed to understand the challenge Paul was taking on and appreciate it as much as we do.”
Mum Natasha said: “The support has been brilliant, we have had people calling up and wanting to donate, it has been amazing.
“We are confident we will raise the money we need.
“We are going for this in a big way and we are lucky that we have so many people behind us.”
For Robbie Davies’ family, talks are continuing with NHS Swindon, who originally refused his operation back in November.
Mum Kelly, of Lower Stratton, said: “My husband has always been in employment paying national insurance and tax, so we find it disgusting that NHS Swindon are stopping Robbie from having the operation.
“Now we want something back, we want our son to walk.”