A Nantwich woman faces a £40,000 fight to give her son a life-changing operation and fulfil his dream of playing football.
Charlene Harris’s nine-year-old son Zac has Cerebral Palsy and walking is a real struggle.
Although the youngster attends a mainstream school, he has to use a K-walker to help him get around.
Now his mum, a former Brine Leas School student, is desperate to help Zac achieve his dream – to play football.
She has launched a fund-raising campaign to afford a £40,000 operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), which is not provided on the NHS.
Charlene, from Wrenbury but now living in Whitchurch, said: “Zac is an incredibly upbeat young man, despite the hurdles he faces just doing simple things that most of us take for granted.
“He inspires us all with his determination to play football at his Cerebral Palsy Football sessions.
“Zac is a very happy boy, always laughing, but the Cerebral Palsy frustrates him and he longs to play football and run around with the other children at school.”
The youngster has been a mascot at his beloved Shrewsbury Town several times.
He has also supported fundraising events for The Wingate Centre, the local children’s charity based in Wrenbury, Nantwich.
“Zac has a younger sister Mia, whom he adores,” added Charlene.
“And we are very lucky to have an incredibly supportive family that have filled Zac’s life with love and encouraged him not to let his disability get him down or hold him back.
“However, the reality is Zac has very stiff hips, knees and ankles, and walking can be very painful.
“As he gets older, the likelihood is this will only get worse and eventually he will need to use a wheelchair.
“We are doing everything we can to prevent Zac’s condition worsening and make his life easier, and after coming across a form of treatment known as SDR we immediately looked into how this might help Zac.”
Charlene met Neurosurgeon Dr Richard Edwards at Bristol Royal Infirmary who confirmed Zac qualified for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy.
The surgery will loosen his hips, knees and ankles, and following intensive two-year physio programme he should be able to walk pain free and with little assistance.
“This operation is not available on the NHS, but we cannot give up on Zac’s dream!
“So we have set to work and started fundraising the £40,000 needed to fund Zac’s operation.”
The money will fund the operation, including a 21-night hospital stay, follow-up appointments, and physio for two years.
“There is a long way to go to reach this target,” added Charlene.
“But we are determined and confident that with the local community behind us we can make Zac’s dream of walking come true!
“We are contacting local businesses and charities to ask that them to support us, whether it be through fundraising events or making a contribution to our crowd funding page.”
You can help Charlene raise money by donating to their fundraising page here.
If you can help Charlene in other ways, contact her on 07519477053 or email firstname.lastname@example.org