Big-hearted fundraisers have helped an appeal to raise cash for a severely disabled Doncaster youngster smash through the £50,000 barrier.
The countdown is now on to reach the £70,000 target needed to send Balby youngster William Moreland to the United States for a life-changing operation which will allow him to walk for the very first time.
And proud mum Michelle Gale admits she has been ‘overwhelmed’ by people who have rushed to back the campaign to help William, who suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which means he cannot walk, cannot care for himself and has to use a wheelchair.
An operation known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy could help him take his first steps.
She said: “The response has been absolutely fantastic. So many people who I don’t even know have come forward to do things and raise money.
“It all seemed such a long way away when we started the campaign but now it is getting closer I am starting to get excited.”
The target for William, four, of Newbolt Road, Balby, was given a huge boost when an anonymous benefactor donated £35,000 - half the total needed - earlier this year.
The donation has allowed Michelle to move the date of the operation forward from next January to this October - and she says her son is beginning to realise that his life could soon change for the better, thanks to the massive fundraising drive.
She said: “He knows people are raising money to help make his legs better. I’ve told him the doctors over in America will do some special magic to help him walk and he won’t be in pain and you can see what that means to him.”
“It is amazing to think that in the next few months William’s life will change for the better forever.
“People don’t realise the daily struggles he has to go through, the pain he is in or how much of a challenge everything is,” added Michelle, who stepped down from her job to devote her time to caring for her son.
The latest money spinner today will see Mexborough brain tumour survivor Donna Howley take on a 10-mile run in aid of the appeal as well as Sheffield based charity Neurocare.
She will be setting off from The Sportsman at 9am, accompanied by scores of other runners to draw in more cash.
She said: “I will be running alongside all of the pub’s football team, even though my back and my leg keep going and I have been told to rest.”
To donate to the appeal visit www.williamswish2walk.weebly.com or www.justgiving.com/Williams-Wish2Walk or text WWTW70 and a donation amount to 70070.