Thurrock: Family Must Raise £15,000

The family of a three-year-old boy from Essex who needs an operation in the US to help him walk needs to raise a further £15,000 to cover the cost of treatment.

Reece Walker, from Stanford-le-Hope, has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy which means the muscles in his legs are painfully tight and prevent him from walking or running.

His parents, Laura and Scott, have already raised £30,000 of the £45,000 needed to pay for a life-changing treatment called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) thanks to support from friends and the community.

The operation will release the tension in his legs and allow him to take his first steps.

Now the family has three months to raise the outstanding amount before the operation in April.

Laura said: "We can't thank everyone who has helped so far enough; we are totally amazed at how generous people have been. We feel really close to giving Reece his dream, but know that there is still a long way to go until the operation is guaranteed."

Dad Scott added: "Reece is at a fork in the road. If he has the SDR operation he has a great chance to walk independently. Without it he is going to end up being a full time wheelchair user. It's that simple.''

Reece's family is being supported by national charity Caudwell Children, which supports families caring for sick and disabled children.

Trudi Beswick, the charity's chief executive, said: "This type of operation has a proven track record of improving the lives of children with cerebral palsy and we are pleased to help try and raise the money they need. We need to raise a lot of money in a short period of time to give Reece the independence he deserves, so I urge anyone who may be able to help to contact the charity.''

To support the appeal, call 01782 600114.

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